It seems a special task force has been formed to move the project forward. I like what I've heard. First of all, this group doesn't seem to harbor any fantasies about public financing. They're talking retail and housing development around the BART station to help fund the plan, using private money and urban development funds, not new taxes.
The part I like best is that they seem to have some sense of aesthetics:
They shot down the parking garage idea previously discussed. I don't know how a parking garage would have worked, and apparently they don't either. Have you ever seen a parking garage that wasn't an eyesore?
They talk about building on the south side, but not in the existing lot.I guess that would mean building on the site of the abandoned Home Base store, right along Hegenberger. Building along a street instead of in the middle of a sea of parked cars would probably look nicer, too.
One of the task force members, Glenn Isaacson, is working on the Oakland Catholic Cathedral project.
Calatrava has apparently left the Cathedral project, but his original design is moving forward. Check out the pictures in this article. The building, which will overlook Lake Merritt, looks fabulous. Oakland may soon get the signature building it so sorely lacks.
The idea that someone involved in the Cathedral project is also involved in the A's stadium project gives me hope. It shows a commitment to Oakland, to great architecture, and to the idea that human spirituality is worth something.
I don't want some moneygrubbing shopping mall of a stadium. I want a green cathedral, crafted by a passion for excellence, and sculpted for the souls of the faithful.