FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2021
Contact: Kimberly Jones, Chief of Staff to Vice Mayor Kaplan
(510) 681-8641 | Kjones3@staging.oaklandca.gov
Oakland, CA – Vice-Mayor Rebecca Kaplan and Councilmember Noel Gallo have submitted a scheduling request for a proposal to proceed with approval of the African American Sports and Entertainment Group's (“AASEG”) non-binding terms of an agreement for the proposed acquisition and development (including, purchase, lease, and partnership) of the City of Oakland’s 50% undivided interest in the Oakland Coliseum Complex. The Oakland Coliseum property is a large, publicly owned site that has excellent connectivity throughout the region, including with BART, Amtrak, freeway, and airport access. By developing it in a way that provides jobs, housing at all income levels, and public revenue, we can achieve significant improvement for the Oakland community, especially in the East Oakland area where it is located. If approved, awarding this vital site for development to an Oakland-based African American development group would help remedy extensive racial disparities in Oakland contracts and economic opportunity. The request to schedule the item will be heard this Thursday, September 30, 2021, during the Rules Committee meeting at 10:30am. The item is proposed to come to the full Council in October.
Vice Mayor Kaplan has worked towards revitalization of the Coliseum for several years. Two years ago, in an op-ed for the Oakland Post, she wrote of the existing concerns about the loss of jobs, lack of affordable housing, and the further erosion of the Black community in East Oakland, and how community-oriented revitalization can help remedy these problems. See Op-Ed at https://www.postnewsgroup.com/opinion-a-vision-for-the-future-of-the-coliseum-area/
AASEG is an Oakland-based group focused on creating economic opportunity for the Black community in East Oakland, as well as the community throughout Oakland and beyond, and using the Coliseum Complex as a vehicle for economic equity and social justice. AASEG has agreed to 35% Affordable Housing and to cover the City’s project costs during the negotiation process. The group projects the creation of up to 40,000 jobs, and significant inclusion of local residents. AASEG already cleared a major hurdle when the Oakland City Council adopted Vice Mayor Kaplan’s Resolution 88764, on July 20, 2021, which directed the City Administrator to negotiate with AASEG the potential terms of agreement for City’s interest in the Coliseum Complex. Furthermore, AASEG has already submitted a proposal to the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (JPA) to lease the Arena in the Coliseum site for a WNBA team, the terms of which has been approved by the Oakland City Council and the full JPA Board.https://www.kron4.com/news/bay-area/wnba-team-one-step-closer-to-coming-to-oakland/
Currently, the City of Oakland owns a 50% share of the large, easily accessible property known as the Coliseum. The site is a major regional hub, served by BART, Amtrak, airport connector and freeway, and in providing thousands of jobs to Oakland residents. It also contains many acres that can be used to provide housing for all income levels, jobs, business, sports, entertainment and more, and which has completed both environmental review and the surplus lands act notification process, to allow for proceeding with revitalizing it. Given much of Oakland's community, including parts of East Oakland, have been harmed by past decisions that undermined opportunity and increased inequality, the development must be done in a way to improve, and not harm, conditions for long-time disparately-impacted communities, and be planned in close connection with community needs.
AASEG has received wide-based support from the Oakland community. Over 40 community and labor groups have expressed support for AASEG’s vision and plans for the Coliseum Complex, from the Building and Construction Trades, to the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce. Oaklanders are enthusiastic about AASEG’s plans to inject much needed economic vitality into East Oakland, which would benefit all of Oakland.
Oakland’s Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan stated: “I am thrilled that we have the opportunity to bring jobs, housing at all income levels, sports, entertainment and more to this vital Oakland site, in a way that strengthens equity and vibrancy for the community at this transit-accessible location.”
Oakland Council member Noel Gallo, who has been actively supporting the effort for improving the area, stated: “We see the harm that is caused by blight and abandonment, and our communities in East Oakland and the surrounding area deserve better. I am honored to help move forward this important proposal from AASEG, to help improve and uplift our community.”
Ray Bobbitt, of AASEG stated: “The African American Sports and Entertainment Group (AASEG) has agreed with City Negotiators to increase its offer to 115 million on the City’s 50% undivided interest of the Coliseum Complex. In addition, the AASEG has agreed to other critical negotiation elements, including 35% Affordable Housing and covering the City’s Costs during the negotiation process. The AASEG will submit its revised Term Sheet today, which leaves open the options of buying the site, leasing the site, or partnering with the City on the site.”
Rules (Scheduling) Committee Meeting Info:
September 30, 2021, 10:30am meeting agenda: Link
Zoom Meeting Link : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87529531780
Link to Scheduling Request for Item: Link
Related News Articles: https://www.postnewsgroup.com/opinion-a-vision-for-the-future-of-the-coliseum-area/