Over a year and a half in the making, the Athletics have finally seen some movement on the long-awaited Environmental Impact Report process for the proposed 32,000 seat facility located on 226-acres of land in the Pacific Commons area in Fremont.
(see details and computer renderings of the proposed Athletics ballpark)
Late Tuesday afternoon, the A’s announced that City officials presented a Notice of Preparation to affected local, state and federal agencies, and neighboring property owners.
A Notice of Preparation (NOP) is a document stating that an EIR will be prepared for a particular project, a required and significant step for final city approval of the A’s ballpark proposal.
The NOP is designed so that interested parties, including Fremont residents, can submit comments specifically on the project description and alternatives. These comments will be incorporated by Fremont planning officials in the drafting of key environmental documents. The public comment period will be open for 30 days. A public workshop has been scheduled for December 8, 2008, 6:30pm at Fremont City Hall. Following the public comment period, the City will prepare and submit a Draft Environmental Impact Report to the Fremont Planning Commission for consideration next year.
According to the Athletics, if approved, groundbreaking on the project will commence as soon as possible thereafter.
“The planning process hasn’t always moved as fast as we’d like, but we are optimistic that we can succeed after listening to the community and engaging experts in the fields of transportation, architecture, and technology,” said principle owner, Lewis Wolff (see The Biz of Baseball interview with Wolff). “Our intention is to win approval of a plan that we believe will benefit both the City and the A’s”, added Wolff.”
The ballpark is part of a larger real estate development plan by Wolff, including 3,150 residential units and adjacent commercial development.
The baseball park will be named Cisco Field as part of a 30-year naming rights partnership with Cisco Systems. The naming rights agreement is for $4 million annually over the life of the agreement, or $120 million.
Source: Oakland Athletics, Business of Sports Network research