Ye olde Pacific Commons ballpark village

Two years ago when the A’s still wanted to move to Fremont near Pacific Commons, the major enticement — besides more corporate sponsorhsips and no territorial fight with the Giants — was the city agreeing to rezone a lot of adjacent land to allow for more than 3,000 homes.

The rezoning, which never happened, would have greatly increased the land value thereby helping the A’s finance construction of the stadium.

Fremont’s latest pitch for the A’s makes no mention of the Pacific Commons site. But even when Lew Wolff pulled out of Fremont last February, he said he’d still be interested in doing the village part of the ballpark village if, by chance, Fremont was interested.

If Fremont rezoned the land for housing, it could make Wolff and Cisco, which originally was going to build a new campus at the site, more bullish on Fremont.

But would Fremont be interested? A city study last year assumed the ballpark village was a done deal, and didn’t list it as part of the city’s supply of land for future industrial use.
But that report also assumed that there would still be a major auto plant in South Fremont.

Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman said he “wouldn’t close the door” on the village, but didn’t seem  keen on rezoning the land.

“I’d have to have an awfully good reason to do it,” he said. “I would not rezone it to residential unless there is a great big winner involved and the A’s would have been that.”

He thinks there’s an opportunity to replicate the ballpark village at the NUMMI site.

Matt Artz