FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2021
For more information, contact:
COLISEUM DREAM DEVELOPMENT GROUP PROPOSES
BLACK PANTHER STUDIOS
ON COLISEUM SITE
Will the Oakland City Council Open Up
Its Closed Session Machinations to Consider It?
Elaine Brown, former Black Panther Party leader and CEO of Oakland & the World Enterprises (OAW), has teamed up again with master developer McCormack Baron Salazar (MBS), with whom OAW is co-developing a 79-unit, 100% affordable housing project at 7th and Campbell in West Oakland, to create The Coliseum Dream. This is the vision of their newly-formed Coliseum Dream Development Group (CDDG) to develop the Coliseum site once vacated.
Highlights of the Dream are: CDDG’s readiness to purchase the City’s 50% interest; positive discussions with the Oakland A’s; installation of Black Panther Studios as development anchor, which will be the first black-owned film studio on the West Coast; ability to finance the entire development, estimated at $5 Billion; building of hundreds of affordable housing units; development of a luxury hotel and department store; creating and supporting youth tech, arts and business training centers; construction of a supermarket in a food desert; making Oakland a tourist destination.
Vince Bennett, President and CEO of MBS, a multi-billion-dollar housing developer based in St. Louis, states: “MBS is ready to immediately enter into a purchase and sale agreement with the City of Oakland, and become the master developer of the entire site.”
What About the Oakland A’s?
The Coliseum Dream Development Group recognizes the impossibility of developing the Coliseum site (“Site”) solely by purchasing the City’s 50% interest. Partnership with the 0ther 50% interest owner, the Oakland A’s, is necessary. Brown states she has been in discussions about the Site with Dave Kaval, A’s President, over the last few years, and said, “Dave has stated he loves the idea of Black Panther Studios as the anchor of CDDG’s development vision.”
No Transparent Process
The problem CDDG faces is not readiness on its part but a door closed by the City Council on even entertaining any proposals other than those two they hand-picked in a recent closed session. In another closed session scheduled for Thursday, October 7, 2021, at 1:30 pm, the Council will consider the merits of its two preferred proposals, based on reports from the City Administrator. This closed session meeting arose from a vote of the Council’s Rules Committee on Thursday, September 30. In lieu of allowing Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan’s request to push through a resolution at the Council’s October 19 meeting to enter into an agreement with the group she’s promoting, the Council decided to consider the two proposals. It’s unclear what happens next. Brown states, “there is no process regarding the sale of the City’s interest in the Coliseum, certainly not one that is transparent.”
The Coliseum Dream Team Is Ready
With Brown and Bennett leading the team, the other CDDG partners are: Adhi Nagraj, Senior VP of MBS; Brown’s nonprofit OAW; and Black Panther Studios, LLC, a partnership of: Brown; film financier Nikkole-Charlene Wilkerson; DeVaris Brown, CEO of Meroxa, a real time data platform; and LaSean Smith, Director of Influencer Content and Social Commerce at Amazon.
The CDDG Proposal is attached, and a video version of the Proposal is linked here: https://bit.ly/thecoliseumdream
The written and video versions of the Proposal have been sent to all City Council members with the request they give it consideration.
* * *