Maritime opponents of the proposed Oakland A’s baseball park and condominium complex at the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal vigorously contested a study, backed by the A’s, stating the Port operations would not be impacted by the proposed stadium/condominium development.
On May 11th, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) which regulates development on the San Francisco Bay, heard testimony related to a Mercator International study supported by the Oakland Athletics. The study according to BCDC, “looks specifically at whether Howard Terminal would be needed to meet cargo projections, and concludes that there are adequate sites available without Howard Terminal.”
The Oakland Athletics seek “to remove the port priority use designation” for the former container terminal expediting the development process, according to BCDC.
The contention of available space at the Port was disputed by speakers representing maritime companies working at the Port of Oakland. They argued that the Port continues to play an essential emergency services role as well as providing critical infrastructure for the import and export of containerized goods.
Evette Davis, a spokeswoman for the coalition of maritime critics opposed to the ball park later reported their argument convinced Commissioners to reject the Oakland As and Mercator conclusion:
“After two hours of presentations and comments, the committee voted to adopt the updated staff report and rejected the A’s input via Mercator– at this juncture of the process…Today’s discussion was one part of a long process that is not expected to be completed until next year.”
She added: “Although the economic situation for the Port is dire given its airport and commercial real estate holdings, the Port itself - although affected by the virus - remains a bright spot for ports on the West Coast and is expected to “weather the storm” better than others.”