SJ Sells Land to Help Pay for A's Ballpark

The city pulls even further ahead of Oakland as an A's stadium option.

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    OAKLAND, CA - MAY 22: Rajai Davis #11 of the Oakland Athletics catches a ball hit by Pablo Sanodoval of the San Francisco Giants in the first inning during an MLB game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 22, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

    San Jose is trying to scrape together some cash to help pay for land in its proposed A's ballpark plan.

    The city's struggling redevelopment agency wants to sell off about $25 million worth of its own land and pull even further ahead of Oakland as an option.

    "A lot of people have been wondering how we're going to put together the transaction to do the land for a baseball stadium," Mayor Chuck Reed told the Mercury News. "I think this is an answer. And it's a message for Major League Baseball -- just in case they had any questions."

    The agency owns enough land to bring in up to $240 million, but there are five downtown spots in particular it wants to cash in on by June 30:

    • the Fairmont Hotel Annex retail area
    • the Fairmont parking garage under the hotel
    • the Central Place parking lot between East San Fernando and South Second Street
    • the Fountain Alley parking lot on South Second Street
    • the East Santa Clara Development site across from City Hall

    This comes after rumors last week that Governor Jerry Brown will cut local redevelopment agencies, a move that would likely kill any chance Oakland had at keeping the A's.

    But back in December, Oakland approved spending $750,000 on an environmental impact study for a 39,000-seat stadium at Victory Square, just south of Jack London Square. It was a last-ditch effort that kept the city in the game.

    There have been rumors that Major League Baseball will make the A's stay in Oakland. But A's owner Lew Wolff has seriously considered building the new ballpark in San Jose, he even offered to loan the city some money to make it happen.

    "It's just another indication that the city of San Jose has continued to put all their ducks in a row to acquire the land if we are allowed to come there,'' Wolff told the Merc. "They are light-years ahead of any other place that might want to acquire land for this purpose.''