Analysis: Howard Terminal Not Viable for Cargo Uses

Some critics of a visionary plan by the Oakland A’s to transform an aging and underutilized cargo terminal at the Port of Oakland into a gleaming new waterfront ballpark and development argue it would interfere with the port’s future growth. Only problem is, the Port of Oakland doesn’t agree. In fact, quite the opposite. In a recent analysis, the port bluntly concluded that Howard Terminal just north of Jack London Square is “not suitable as a modern cargo terminal,” and that maintaining its designation as a cargo terminal means this “valuable waterfront property will likely languish for decades in minimally productive use with no public access to the shoreline and infrastructure, subsurface contamination remediation and sea-level rise (SLR) protections unfunded due to limited revenue potential from maritime operations.”

The analysis comes as part of an upcoming decision by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) on whether to change Howard Terminal’s port designation to allow for the A’s project. In addition to the ballpark, the A’s are proposing a surrounding development that will include housing, offices and shops, generous public spaces, a hotel and other amenities. The Bay Area Council strongly supports the A’s plans and will be hosting a webinar on May 3 (see below) on what’s ahead and what’s at stake. BCDC is scheduled to hold a public hearing June 2 on the question of Howard Terminal’s port designation before making a final decision on June 30. For more information about the Council’s Howard Terminal advocacy, please contact Policy Director Emily Loper.

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