COLISEUM AUTHORITY | On Monday, Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan was effusively thanking investment firm, Colony Capital, LLC, the Coliseum City’s new, well-financed investor when her City Council and Coliseum Authority colleague, Larry Reid, interrupted.
“I wouldn’t go out and sing their praises,” Reid chimed in after the Coliseum Authority approved short-term lease agreements with its current tenants, the Athletics and Raiders.
Reid said Colony Capital, despite its considerable financial heft, hasn’t shown him to be worthy of Kaplan’s praise, just yet. “Until they put some money up, then they’re in the deal,” he said. As some Authority board members chuckled with Reid and his sassy comments, he added, “I’m just being real. Show me the money!”
Reid’s participation at public events has been few and far between recently. Following a then-undisclosed back problem, Reid has rarely been seen in public since late July. Reid finally attended an Oakland City Council meeting two weeks ago, aided by a cane, but was excused last week for back surgery. He made his comments Monday on Coliseum City while seated in a wheelchair, but sounded like the Larry Reid of old.
Colony Capital’s recent involvement starting late last summer in the Coliseum City project raised spirits among Oakland and Alameda County officials, along with the inclusion of investors from Dubai. However, there is some concern among insiders Colony Capital is also motivated by gifts of public lands or even a chunk of the Raiders ownership in return for developing the area around 66th Avenue and Hegenberger Road into a sports and entertainment hub for the East Bay.
In addition to a new football stadium, the Coliseum City plan includes a ballpark for the Athletics and arena for the Warriors. Amenities such as hotels and restaurants are also envisioned, along with a research and technology campus directly across the freeway.