Latest Howard Terminal News Reveals Term Sheet Oakland City Council Approved Was Not Followed

latest howard terminal news reve

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Latest Howard Terminal News Reveals Term Sheet Oakland City Council Approved Was Not Followed

Latest Howard Terminal News Reveals Term Sheet Oakland City Council Approved Was Not Followed

On July 20, 2021, the Oakland City Council approved a Howard Terminal term sheet with the Oakland Athletics that consisted of, among other points, the following:

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.

Now, it’s revealed by Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval in a tweet on Twitter, in pointing to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, that there’s a new proposed deal for the A’s provision of affordable housing. From the post:
Dave Kaval, president of the A’s, said the baseball team agreed to the city’s terms for onsite affordable housing— 15% — in exchange for tax money generated by the parking, sales and business license taxes to help pay for infrastructure upgrades at the proposed ballpark site. Kaval did not specify how much tax money the team wanted. Mayor Libby Schaaf said the revenue from those taxes would be millions of dollars.
Then Mayor Schaaf reportedly said that she “believes there are superior ways to cover the costs identified by the A’s without putting the city’s general fund tax dollars at risk.” There was zero mention of the use of tax increment financing revenue which would flow from the Infrastructure Financing District (IFD). That means the Mayor and Kaval just walked away from three years of work to form the idea of using an IFD, and to finance “infrastructure, public open space, and affordable housing”, as listed in the term sheet. The same term sheet the Oakland City Council approved last year, July 20, 2021.
Since the Oakland City Council already approved the parameters of any future infrastructure financing deal, technically what the Mayor and Kaval discussed is illegal. After all, what’s a vote on a term sheet for if it’s not then followed by the Mayor and the A’s?
Also, it reveals that the negotiations held with Oakland City Council members last year was officially not followed. Sure, they can object to the term sheet, Kaval and the A’s, but that does not mean they can’t not follow it whole cloth considering the Oakland City Council approved it. On top of that the whole reason for the use of the Infrastructure Financing District (IFD) was to avoid fiscal pressure on the City of Oakland’s general fund.
On top of that, it shows that the City of Oakland has no reliable tax increment financing subsidy calculation that it’s used in talks with the A’s. That, even though Kaval has been waiting for it for a year.
Does the Oakland City Council know that Mayor Schaaf and Mr. Kaval just walked away from the term sheet? By my review, and without revealing sources, the answer is a hard no. Thus, the you-know-what will hit the fan when the Oakland City Council gets wind of this news.
Leading Toward The Death Of Sports In Oakland?
That this sad news comes on the very day after the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Finals while calling San Francisco, and not Oakland, home, also points to a all-too-possible near future of an Oakland totally without major professional sports. Are the Oakland A’s just buying time by making Oakland stall, meanwhile getting their Las Vegas plans in order? And what about the drawings for the A’s Las Vegas Ballpark? MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred says the A’s have to have a deal done with Oakland this month. Well, the term sheet was done about a year ago. Why is Kaval throwing in this seemingly deliberate setback?
A sad turn on a sad week for sports in Oakland, and apparently about to get sadder.
Stay tuned.

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