New concerns over Oakland A's Howard Terminal stadium proposal

The Oakland A’s continue to battle for a ballpark at Howard Terminal in Jack London Square, but city leaders highlighted some issues that the team will have to address before building can ever begin.

One of them deals with the height of the proposed residential towers that could be part of the finished plan.

"The concern was about the fit of it relative to Oakland as a city and its image, and that that's the basis for the concern on the right," said Clark Manus, chairman of the Oakland Design Review Committee.

Manus goes on to say that as a matter of standard practice, tall high-rise buildings tend to be clustered into a city's center with heights falling for buildings further away from that center, similar to the San Francisco skyline.

The Oakland A’s plan for a new baseball stadium calls for one residential tower to be as high as 600 feet, while the other would be 400 feet tall.

Any buildings at those heights along the Oakland Estuary would compete with designs such as the Ordway Building, the tallest building in downtown measuring at 400 feet.

Another component of the design concept is the railroad track that runs through Jack London Square.

DRC wants a safe way for the 35,000 park visitors to avoid the tracks altogether.

Officially referred to as "Grade Separation", the committee wants the A’s plan to address that issue in their plans.

"I just don't want anything bad to happen. I mean, it's, it's really related to how you provide the ability for people to get across the railroad crossing," Manus told KTVU.

You might remember that in 2019, the Oakland A’s proposed the idea of a gondola to ferry fans from BART to Howard Terminal, but those plans weren’t in the plans reviewed by the committee.

Manus says discussions must also take place with the A’s management about how the ballpark could affect Port of Oakland operations. The concern is if the port needs to expand the basin to accommodate large cargo ships, it could be more difficult with a baseball stadium at Howard Terminal.