Planning period for proposed Coliseum City project extended

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Planning period for proposed Coliseum City project extended
October 15, 2013, 8:45 pm
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The exciting thing about this proposal is that it makes it likely that we can have a successful project we’re all dreaming of without public subsidy, which in my mind is not an option.
Oakland City Council member Libby Schaaf

Efforts to keep the Raiders in Oakland took an important step forward Tuesday evening when the Oakland City Council extended the planning period for the proposed Coliseum City sports and entertainment development project.

By a unanimous vote, the planning window was extended an additional 12 months, along with a six-month administrative extension option, during a concurrent meeting between Oakland Redevelopment Successor Agency and the City Council.

Raiders fans came out in droves to support the extension vote, which provides hope that the franchise will remain in the East Bay market long term.

The extension gives more evaluation time to a pair of deep-pocketed developers who have expressed late interest in the ambitious project, which would include at least one and as many as three sports venues centered on the Oakland Coliseum complex site while expanding west of Interstate 880.

Colony Capital LLC, which manages investments totaling more than $30 billion, and Dubai financier Rashia Al Malik, whose firm is HayaH Holiding, have combined to form Bay Investment Group, LLC., and had requested council permission to be included as potential investors.

Bay Investment Group has demonstrated legitimate interest in developing the massive sports and entertainment center concept, and the group has said it intends to finance a feasibility study for the project.

Tuesday's City Council approval vote also adds Bay Area Investment Group as a party in the development plan.

“The exciting thing about this proposal is that it makes it likely that we can have a successful project we’re all dreaming of without public subsidy, which in my mind is not an option,” Oakland City Council member Libby Schaaf said.

The vote allows interested parties, including the city of Oakland, to move forward with this grand plan. The proposal mandates that a local sports team sign a letter of interest for the project within six months. A development plan must be completed, and an environmental impact report is expected during the summer.