The Estuary Waterfront Project is a conceptual design of a new proposed baseball stadium for the Oakland Athletics along the Oakland Estuary waterfront at Estuary Park. The location is a plot of land owned by the Port of Oakland and "developed and maintained" by the City of Oakland. It exists as a large, vacant, underutilized patch of dead grass hidden from view of the street - but is in a prime location blocks from downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt, Lake Merritt Bart Station, Laney College, the 880 freeway, and connecting to Jack London Square, The Oakland Estuary, the estuary channel and The Oakland Aquatic Center. 


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Estuary Park Webpage:

http://www.waterfrontaction.org/learn/parks/ep.htm

Estuary Park's Yelp Page:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/lake-merritt-channel-estuary-channel-park-oakland


The location is across from the Victory Court ballpark plan and would provide improved waterfront views, instant access to Jack London Square through a scenic waterfront trail, as well as place the field directly at the mouth of the estuary channel which connects the San Francisco Bay to Lake Merritt. This channel will be of much greater value and significance in years to come as Oakland Measure DD is already underway to widen the canal and revitalize the water in Lake Merritt - by 2015 "visitors will be able to canoe or kayak from the Oakland Estuary to Lake Merritt unimpeded."

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/storysection=news/assignment_7&id=8083230


The project will emphasize urban flow through foot traffic and accessibility to major city landmarks - specifically Downtown Oakland, Jack London Square and Lake Merritt. The Estuary Waterfront Project rivals both the Howard Terminal Project and the Victory Court Project by being more centrally located than Howard Terminal which lies in the western corner of the city. The location provides views of the San Francisco Bay, the Oakland Hills, The Oakland Coliseum (Coliseum City) and the downtown skyline. It would completely revitalize important city landmarks Howard Terminal does not - The picturesque waterfront location and trail where the now demolished Jack London Village once existed, the Oakland Estuary, Laney College, the Oakland Aquatic Center, and the increasingly significant Lake Merritt and estuary channel. 

The stadium location would funnel foot traffic to the ballpark directly through the heart of downtown Oakland from Broadway to the Lake Merritt/Chinatown area. This would bring more foot traffic to the land currently being redeveloped by the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center. The location at Estuary Park has a closer BART station than the Howard Terminal site (Lake Merritt) and is walking distance from both the 12th and 19th Street BART Stations, and the Lack London Square Amtrak Station.  
                   
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Jack London Bay Trail 

The Estuary Waterfront Project would utilize the scenic bay trail running from Jack London Square past the former Jack London Village as a main thoroughfare. This would provided countless retail opportunities as well as revive the area of Jack London Village - an area which remains a sore spot to many people in Oakland, and represents the neglect, untapped potential and mistakes of past city mismanagement in the eyes of many Oakland residents.    

Below is a map of the waterfront bay trail from Jack London Square to the proposed ballpark site. 

A. Represents Estuary Park
B. Represents Jack London Square

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Lake Merritt/Estuary Channel and Oakland Measure DD

As the most well-known, popular, centralized landmark in Oakland - Lake Merritt is know as the city's "Crowned Jewel" and is significant to American history by having the distinction of being the first wildlife refuge in North America. Construction is already underway on Measure DD, to restore the lake and widen the estuary channel. The Estuary Waterfront Project would conceivably allow boaters to arrive and depart from the waterfront ballpark and commute down the estuary channel through downtown Oakland, past Laney College and into Lake Merritt located in the heart of the city. This would capitalize the efforts of Measure DD and maximize the benefits of the new measure by funneling boat and foot traffic through the Lake Merritt/Henry J. Kaiser area.  


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Estuary Park/Oakland Aquatic Center

Although the park and aquatic center would have to relocate for the ballpark, the Estuary Waterfront Project would develop a new modernized Estuary Park and Oakland Aquatic Center adjacent to the stadium. The project would take a largely unoccupied, unused city park in a prime picturesque location - modernize it and place it next to a major league ballpark and retail center flooding it with foot traffic. The already popular Oakland (or Jack London) Aquatic Center would benefit immensely from a new facility and the added foot traffic to the relatively hidden area. The Aquatic Center and its functionality as an area to launch boats will be of much greater importance in years to come with the expansion and revitalization of the estuary channel to Lake Merritt. The location around Estuary Park has the potential to be designed as a "Fisherman's Wharf" type retail and natural aquatic attraction - providing tourism and transportation through local waterways.    

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An Attraction 365 Days of the Year

The Estuary Waterfront Project would be designed to be an attraction every day of the year - and not only when the Athletics are playing a home game. The natural beauty the waterfront site provides as well as the already functioning Estuary Park and Oakland Aquatic Center, gives the estuary location an advantage as a constant attraction over other proposed ballpark sites in the city. The Howard Terminal and Victory Court proposed stadium sites would require fans to be drawn to areas previously known as being inanimate, dull, manufacturing locations - as opposed to the waterfront scenic trail of Estuary Park. The ballpark facilities and the adjacent structures would provide many different design concept possibilities that would draw the public even when games are not being played. 


  • Designing A's related attractions, restaurants, bars and retail stores within the stadium and along the waterfront.   
  • Making the Athletics' ballpark a clean, renewable energy field by powering the stadium on wind and solar energy.
http://www.eenews.net/public/climatewire/2012/03/29/1      
  • Building the ballpark to have a "Splash Zone" area where long home runs would fly into the estuary water. 
  • Using Oak Trees - a symbol of Oakland's identity, as the main foliage decorating the ballpark and surrounding areas.
  • Designing an aquarium running through and connecting to the stadium. 
  • Encompassing a state of the art internet cafe/technology center on the stadium concourse.        

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Design Updates:

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Urban Impact Diagrams:


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