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FREMONT, CA-The Oakland City Council has approved the development of a housing complex on the land that it has been considering for the development of a new stadium for the Oakland A’s.

This week, the Oakland City Council instructed City Manager Robert Bobb to initiate an exclusive negotiating contract with a Cleveland developer to develop an 807-unit housing complex in uptown Oakland. This site was previously determined to be the best location for a new Oakland A’s stadium by HOK Sports, a design firm that built the famous Pac Bell Park in San Francisco.

The housing development increases the chance that a ballpark may be built in Warm Springs, instead. The Warm Springs site is located on a 105-acre parcel between Fremont Boulevard and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

However, the Warm Springs site also has competition from a second Oakland site. HOK rated the Howard Terminal behind the Warm Springs site and a new site at the Oakland Coliseum. The Oakland A’s have expressed their desire to move away from the Coliseum and may be more receptive to an Oakland site than a Fremont site. In addition, the Fremont site has an approximate price tag of $465 million, which could be too steep for the A’s without public financing.

Meanwhile, the Oakland A’s is working with the city to extend a lease that will allow the Oakland A’s to play at the Networks Associates Coliseum for at least five more years.

Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty brokered the lease extension proposal. It seeks to extend the lease through the end of the 2007 baseball season, a time period chosen because it is the amount of time needed to build a facility made for only baseball.

Under the proposal, the A’s would pay rent for their use of the coliseum, with a base established at $450,000 a year plus 50 cents for every ticket above 2 million sold. The proposal also includes an escape clause, which would allow the A’s to leave their lease with only 90 days notice, as long as they pay off the remaining lease payments plus $250,000. The authority approved a five-year lease with three one-year extension options. The approval is contingent on further negotiations on the terms on the lease.

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