Oakland City Council Approves Term Sheet for the Oakland Waterfront Ballpark District at Howard Terminal

Date Posted: August 17th, 2021 @ 4:52 PM
Last Updated: August 24th, 2021 @ 1:54 PM

On July 20, 2021, the Council approved a non-binding term sheet outlining key terms to be included in a Development Agreement between the City of Oakland and the Oakland A’s for the Waterfront Ballpark District at Howard Terminal.

Please read further for questions and answers about what this means. You may also visit the FAQs for additional information.

What are the key terms included in the term sheet and the resolution?

  • Ballpark Costs: The A’s will privately finance the construction, operation, and maintenance of the Ballpark.
  • Onsite Infrastructure: The A’s will pay upfront costs of all onsite infrastructure, such as roads, sewer, water, and electrical lines, as well as affordable housing, parks and open space.
  • Infrastructure Financing District (IFD): The City (and Alameda County, if the County Board of Supervisors decides to opt-in) will establish a single IFD covering only the Howard Terminal site. An IFD is a financial tool that allows the City (and County) to invest their “but for” or net-new property taxes, which would not exist “but for” the project, in infrastructure, public open space, and affordable housing. Up to 80% of the IFD proceeds would be used to reimburse the A's for their upfront investment in onsite infrastructure . The remaining 20% of the IFD proceeds would be dedicated to implementing displacement prevention strategies offsite.
  • Offsite Transportation Infrastructure Investment: The projected cost of offsite transportation improvements is approximately $352 million. This infrastructure investment will catalyze long-needed improvements in the Jack London District, Downtown, Chinatown, Old Oakland and West Oakland, and facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people and goods around and to the waterfront. The A’s will not be responsible for these costs but will work actively with the City to pursue local, regional, state, federal and other funds to cover these costs.
  • Vested Rights: The A’s will have vested rights to develop the project as set forth in the Development Agreement and other project approvals for the full term of the Development Agreement. During this period, the City cannot limit, change or delay the project or increase Developer obligations. There are exceptions for public health, and to implement new federal or state laws, building and fire codes, or City infrastructure standards.
  • Timing: The Development Agreement will have a term of 35 years. Construction on the Ballpark must start by 2025 or no more than 4 years after any litigation is resolved, but in any event no later than 2028.
  • Non-Relocation Agreement: The A’s must remain in Oakland for 25 years from the date they play the first game in the new Ballpark. If they leave, even after 25 years, they must cover outstanding debt service on any public debt associated with the project.
  • Port Turning Basin: In its agreement with the A’s, the Port has reserved certain portions of the project site for a potential future expansion of the Inner Harbor Turning Basin. If the Port exercises those rights, the Development Agreement would terminate as to those lands reclaimed by the Port.
  • Affordable Housing: The project will target 35% affordability, using onsite and offsite strategies. Onsite, 15% of units will be affordable. Offsite, a $50 million fund will be established to implement strategies to prevent existing residents in the area from being displaced due to rising housing costs. The fund will support a combination of newly constructed units, preserved units, renovated units, and down payment assistance, targeting a total of 20% of the 3,000 onsite units (or 600 units). The project will also provide anti-displacement tenant services in the four impacted neighborhoods.
  • Jobs: The Project is in Port of Oakland jurisdiction. The Port’s jobs policies will apply in lieu of the City’s. Specifically, all project-related construction jobs will be subject to the Port’s Maritime Aviation Project Labor Agreement (MAPLA). For operational jobs, the Port will require an operational jobs policy based on the 2017 “Operations Jobs Policy for the Centerpoint Oakland Global Logistics Project”. This includes living wages and benefits for workers; priority consideration for unemployed individuals, armed forces veterans, single parents, ex-offenders and foster care adults; and a ban on asking applicants about prior criminal offenses.
  • Community Fund: A Community Fund will be established and maintained over the full 66-year life of the A’s lease with the Port. The fund will consist of a number of revenue sources, including the Port’s Social Justice Trust Fund for workforce development, a set-aside from the IFD for offsite anti-displacement strategies, a 0.75% transfer fee on condominium sales on the project site, and payments in lieu of the Developer’s transportation impact fees. It is anticipated that the fund will be managed through a collaborative process between City, Port, and community stakeholders to support a number of community priorities set forth in the project’s Community Benefits Recommendations Summary Report (https://cao-94612.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/FINAL_062521-HT-CBA-Recommendations-Final-Report-1.pdf).
  • Community Oversight: The City Administrator, in coordination with the City Attorney, will analyze how a community oversight body, including members of engaged coalitions and community organizations, can be established to ensure that community benefits included in any future Development Agreement are implemented and enforceable.
Open space map
  • Project Phasing: The Ballpark must be included in the first phase, but as master developer, the A’s may determine the order of all other development. Parks and open spaces--including Athletics Way, Rooftop Park and Waterfront Park “A”--must be built with the Ballpark. Stomper Plaza must be completed with Block 5 and Waterfront Park “C” must be completed with Block 7. Other park phasing requirements will be established in the Development Agreement.

So, are the City and the A’s in agreement on the project's financial plan?

The City and A’s are in agreement on nearly all of the terms approved by the Council on July 20, 2021. Limited differences remain between the parties with regard to how to fund the Community Fund.

What are the next steps in the approval process?

With a non-binding term sheet now approved by the City Council, the City and the A’s will move on to drafting and negotiating the Development Agreement. The Development Agreement, together with a final Environmental Impact Report, and several other planning approvals required for the project will be forwarded to the Planning Commission and City Council for consideration, beginning with Design Review in September 2021, and likely concluding in early 2022. Around that time, the Port Board will also consider an Option Agreement and Master Lease with the A’s. Also in fall 2021, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors is expected to consider whether to opt-in to the IFD.