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Elaine Brown, former leader of the Black Panther Party and CEO of Oakland & the World Enterprises (OAW), partnered with lead developer McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS) to create The Coliseum Dream development project.
The highlights of the Dream project are: the willingness to buy the city’s 50% stake; positive discussions with Oakland As; installing Black Panther Studios as a development anchor, which will be the first black-owned film studio on the West Coast; ability to finance overall development, estimated at $ 5 billion; construction of hundreds of affordable housing units; development of a luxury hotel and a department store; create and support training centers for young people in the fields of technology, the arts and business; construction of a supermarket in a food desert; making Oakland a tourist destination.
Vince Bennett, President and CEO of MBS, a multi-billion dollar St. Louis-based real estate developer, said: “MBS is ready to immediately enter into a buy and sell agreement with the City of Oakland. and become the entire Site. “
The Coliseum Dream Development Group (CDDG) recognizes the impossibility of developing the Coliseum site solely by purchasing the city’s 50% stake. A partnership with the other 50% interest owner, Oakland A, is required.
Brown says she has discussed the site with Dave Kaval, president of A, over the past few years, and said, “Dave said he liked the idea of Black Panther Studios as an anchor for the vision. development of CDDG. “
The problem the CDDG faces is not the will on its part, but the reluctance of the city council to welcome proposals other than those it handpicked in a recent closed session.
In a closed-door session scheduled for Thursday, October 7, Council considered the merits of its two favorite proposals, based on the city administrator’s reports. This closed session was born out of a vote by the Rules Committee of Council on Thursday, September 30.
Instead of allowing Deputy Mayor Rebecca Kaplan’s request to pass a resolution at the October 19 council meeting to strike a deal with the group she is promoting, council decided to consider the two proposals.
We don’t know what happens next.
Brown said: “There is no process regarding the sale of the city’s stake in the Colosseum, certainly not a transparent process.”
In a statement to the Oakland Post, Brown submitted the following questions and answers:
Question: Everyone is talking about employment and housing. Will your group be able to deliver on your Coliseum Dream proposal’s promise to create jobs and build affordable housing for the community?
A (Elaine Brown): “Oakland & the World Enterprises (OAW), of which I am the CEO, is currently co-developing a $ 72 million, 79 unit, 100% affordable housing project in West Oakland with owner McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS ), led by CEO and Chairman Vince Bennett.
“It reflects my continued commitment to the Black Panther Party, of which I was a leading member, of black self-determination. MBS’s track record in building affordable housing is unprecedented. MBS has not only built thousands of affordable homes across the United States, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, but MBS is currently building a billion dollar development in Dayton, Ohio, the Dayton Arcade, which includes hundreds of affordable housing units and brings residents, jobs and visitors back to downtown Dayton.
“Our Coliseum Dream flagship project, Black Panther Studios, alone will create thousands of new high-tech jobs, and we will build an affiliated tech training center to create a new generation of black and tech-savvy ‘digital carpenters’. . films and enter the technological economy at a high level.
Q: Even if you are ready and able to buy the City’s 50% stake in the Colosseum site, how can you develop the site without buying the 50% of the As’s or partnering with the As’s?
A, (Elaine Brown): “Our team is ready to buy the City’s 50% stake today. We didn’t discuss buying A’s 50% stake with the A’s, but if it was an option, we would take it. We have spoken with Dave Kaval, president of A, for the past two years about our Coliseum Dream, and Dave has been unequivocal that if we were to acquire the 50% of the city, he would work with us. And, we told Dave, we are ready to partner with the A’s. ”
The dream proposal is available here: https://bit.ly/thecoliseumdream
The Oakland Post’s local news coverage in Alameda County is supported by the Ethnic Media Sustainability Initiative, a program created by California Black Media and Ethnic Media Services to support community newspapers across California.