The Oakland Coliseum’s non-exclusive negotiated answer reveals how deep town has fallen
At today’s meeting of the Oakland Redevelopment Successor Agency at 1:30 p.m. PST / 4:30 p.m. EST (here virtual) the Oakland City Council will pass a resolution that is a weak sauce, complete joke, passively aggressive and unfortunately oh so typical Oakland attempt to determine who can own part of the City of Oakland’s Coliseum Complex land (the other half belongs to the Oakland A’s).
This is today’s resolution:
“The staff recommends that the city council adopt a resolution authorizing the city administrator not to negotiate exclusively with the 1) African American sports and entertainment group; 2) Tripp Development; 3) The Renaissance Enterprises; 4) Dave Stewart and Lonnie Murray; And 5) The Athletics Investment Group LLC, regarding the terms and conditions of the city’s undivided 50 percent royalty participation in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Complex, which consists of several parcels running from San Leandro Street, 66th Avenue, Hegenberger Road and the Interstate 880. “
The employee report, written by Larry Gallegos, Development Program Manager, and presented by Interim Assistant City Administrator Elizabeth “Betsy” Lake, shows, among other things, that she has little real experience of economic development in Oakland and that the city of Oakland has had a bad history with two of the five named groups and Larry Gallegos having the story determined to repeat Oakland’s mistakes. Rick Tripp and Floyd Kephart, in my experience, are representative of how little Oakland has learned about who to deal with on redevelopment projects.
I will just repeat what I wrote earlier about Mr Tripp:
The livestream above describes what happened back then and asks why Rick Tripp is only focused on Oakland Stadium development and has no track record of developing sports stadiums and facilities, despite his Linkedin page saying so.
Not only do I do this, and it’s hard to write because I saw Rick as a friend at one point, but I have to share my personal experiences and concerns here and on the livestream. Oakland has to go forward, not backward.
Rick says he’s interested in California sports facility development, but he never showed up for the Warriors Arena Project or the San Francisco 49ers Stadium Project or the San Jose Earthquakes. Oakland only.
Why? When he was supposed to send me a stadium table in 2015, he also sent me a general developer punchlist, but not a table. Something was wrong then and now.
And I’ll add this: Rick Tripp is a nice guy who enjoys fine wine and only focuses suspiciously when Oakland is planning to pick a developer for the Coliseum. To doubt? Just google “rick tripp developer” and look at the results – nothing but Oakland. In his presentation, Rick Tripp looks like an FBI plant to see if Oakland is up to something because black developers are involved.
And what about Jim Bailey, who, as Larry Gallegos writes, is “the former Executive Vice President Jim Bailey of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens”? Well, that was oh so 1999. In other words, Mr. Bailey hasn’t held those roles since 1999, according to his Linkedin page. Bet you Star Trek credits to Navy Beans Larry didn’t check that out, and neither does Betsy.
And “William Miller of William Miller Associates, an Investment Strategy and Management Company” – look for it or for him and find many William Millers, but who is Rick Tripp’s partner?
Do you understand what I mean?
The last time in Oakland, Floyd Kephart upset the NFL and ultimately ran out of funds he supposedly had
Zennie Abraham and Floyd Kephart at the Oakland Rotary Club
The last time Floyd Kephart showed up in Oakland, he was basically trying to get the City of Oakland to give him a grant from Coliseum City that he wanted to turn around and use it to buy a stake in the Oakland Raiders. In other words, as I told Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf at the time, Mr. Kephart plans to use Oakland’s public funds to make himself a near-billionaire – which would happen if he managed to get the percentage of raiders wanted win.
In addition, Kephart lacked the financial strength the City of Oakland needed. And this news came from the city workers of the Colosseum project. More precisely Larry Gallegos. Yes. The same man who wrote the personnel report that I’m destroying. Between the Subsidy / Raiders buying problem and his public argument with then-NFL Vice President Eric Grubman (who once said Floyd kept coming back “like a bad penny that doesn’t go away), why the hell is Oakland?” Do you want to let him through the door again? Are we really that desperate for developers? Larry? Seriously? Hey, Larry knows me – he should have asked me to throw my hat in the ring if that was the case.
The African American sports and entertainment group paired with Dave Stewart and the Oakland A’s is the best answer
The African American Sports And Entertainment Group consists not only of local business people, but also of some of the most financially liquid black organizations in the world, most notably Loop Capital in Chicago. Local businessman Ray Bobbitt has formed a Black Business Star Chamber and is poised to bring the WNBA to Oakland. For everything Ray has done in such a short amount of time – from funding the City of Oakland / Oakland fans lawsuit against the Raiders to establishing the African American Sports And Entertainment Group to bring the NFL and professional sports back to Oakland, should Ray be given a clean path to negotiating the Coliseum property. Instead, as I understand it, City Staff insulted their group and even wondered if they had the capital for the project. It was one of those “why? Because we’re black? ”Moments that would have been the case if I had been in the room.
The city staff on the project didn’t investigate Rick Tripp and Floyd Kephart that closely, so we’re again giving budding white developers a permit because they’re white. A year after George Floyd and we’re getting this bullshit? Please, City of Oakland, get out of here.
The Oakland Mayor has to be a strong mayor here and choose the developers
The Mayor of Oakland has the right to select the developers to purchase the Coliseum site. What Libby should do is pair up the African American Sports And Entertainment Group with Dave Stewart and the Oakland A’s and end the day. It would be a magical pairing of the business musculature of the African American Sports And Entertainment Group with the legendary hero of Oakland A who is Dave Stewart and the sports business strategist who is his wife Lonnie Murray.
With the A’s owning the other half of the property, the result would be a powerful sports development team. Since the A’s are focused on Howard Terminal, the Coliseum Team would actually help the baseball organization. The Coliseum Team could work with the City of Oakland to spend the excess TIF revenue from the Howard Terminal at the Coliseum and solve the problem of sea level rise. The A’s would partner to bring sport back to Oakland at the Coliseum and keep baseball up and running through the Howard Terminal Ballpark.
And Oakland would finally be on track to complete the biggest non-port project of his life: maintaining professional sport – and much of its identity – in Oakland.
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