SAN JOSE (KCBS) – Five acres of prime downtown San Jose real estate needed to build a baseball park for the Oakland Athletics could be sold to the team for less than half what it would be worth as office space, and for just a quarter of what San Jose originally paid for the land.

Six parcels of land near HP Pavilion would be sold to the A’s for $6.9 million, a deal critics have derided as a sweetheart deal for the team’s co-owner, Lew Wolff.

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KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

The San Jose Redevelopment Agency paid more than $25 million to acquire the land where city officials now hope to build a ballpark without any public financing.

Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone, a prominent supporter of moving the Oakland A’s to the South Bay, pointed out the land’s value has gone down considerably since San Jose started snatching it up ten years ago.

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“Land in downtown San Jose, whether it’s going to be used for a ballpark or an office building is worth substantially less today than it was during the dot-com boom,” Stone said.

The San Jose Mercury News reported a 2010 appraisal by Colliers International valued the land at $13.9 million if offices were built there.

The city council gave Wolff first option to purchase the land for about half that price if Major League Baseball resolves the San Francisco Giants territorial rights to the South Bay. Wolff would not buy the land otherwise.

Stone pointed out that land would be worth significantly less than the Colliers appraisal if it were developed as a ballpark rather than as an office park.

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