Oakland Mayor Says Dubai Prince, Qatar Company Partnering On Coliseum City
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan on Thursday said Qatar-owned real estate firm Colony Capital has "partnered with" Prince of Dubai Hamdam bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and "won the bid" to develop the city's proposed Coliseum City project. Quan, appearing on S.F.'s KGMZ-FM, said, "They have capital. They are in negotiations with the Raiders about their stadium and to fill out the rest of their economic development plan. I expect by the end of the summer we'll have some results." She added, "It's clear that the A's are going to be here for a while and the question is, how long will we extend the lease again and whether or not they're finally going to make a choice." Quan: "It was very clear to me when I became mayor that the public was not going to repeat what happened with the Raiders the first time, when there was a huge deficit that the public is still paying for, and that in order to pay for stadiums and to make them workable we had to make sure that the whole development would work more so you had to have a location that would be more than just stadiums." Quan added the project would need to include hotels, retail, "not just be a parking lot ... but would have jobs" (KGMZ-FM, 4/10).
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM? In Oakland, Matthew Artz reports Oakland City Council member Larry Reid on Thursday revealed that an MLB official "informed him and Quan during a meeting last week that for now the league was not interested in an alternative stadium site near Jack London Square." Reid said, "What they said to us is that (A's co-owner) Lew Wolff preferred the Coliseum. And if that's where Lew Wolff wants to go that's what Major League Baseball supports." Meanwhile, Artz notes the inclusion of Al Maktoum in the Coliseum City proposal "would appear to lend credence to the mayor's claims about the viability" of the concept. However, even with an "infusion of cash from the Middle East, Coliseum City still poses many challenges" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 4/11). Quan on Thursday said, "What I find really interesting is suddenly Lew Wolff wants a ten-year extension there and it's suddenly the place that it wasn't supposed to be that he didn't want to be in and now he wants a 10-year extension." Quan said, "Any kind of extension is possible but we want to know where you want your new stadium" (KGMZ-FM, 4/10).