Accident at Berkeley Apple store red-tags two businesses

One wall on the Apple construction site (top right) can be seen leaning against the neighboring building which houses Builders Booksource and Another Planet Entertainment. Photos: Tracey Taylor.

The semi-collapse of two walls at the site of Berkeley’s emerging new Apple store on Fourth Street at 10am this morning led to a call-out for the Berkeley fire department and the closure of two neighboring businesses.

According to George Kiskaddon, a partner at Builders Booksource, which is next door to the construction site at 1823 Fourth Street where Apple is building its latest Bay Area store, a side and back wall on the site suddenly sank about four feet into the ground and one of them was left leaning against his building.

Builders Booksource has been red-tagged while it awaits the assessment of a structural engineer.

“At about 9:50 there was a very large bang from the building next to ours,” he says. “One wall has been left leaning and bowing into the next door building.”

Assistant chief Sabina Imrie of the Berkeley fire department says they received a 911 call at 10:02am and arrived at 1823 Fourth Street to see a wall on the Apple site leaning against the neighboring building.

“We evacuated the neighboring building as a precautionary measure,” she says. “We called the City building inspector and a contractor on the scene was trying to shore up and secure the walls. There were no injuries.” Chief Imrie adds that the suspicion is that the recent rains may have made the foundations on the Apple site unstable.

It appears that Apple’s construction crew was digging new footings and foundation for the store and the freestanding walls which had been retained from the original Slater Marinoff building suddenly sank into the ground.

A sign posted in the window of Builders Booksource.

Kiskaddon says the floor above his, which is occupied by Another Planet Entertainment, has also been closed while awaiting the arrival of structural engineers to rule on safety questions.

“They have red-tagged the building,” Kiskaddon says, although he says there is no obvious damage to the store. And he adds: “It was dramatic and traumatic.”

Apple is planning a retail space that will total 4,455 square feet and be flush with the neighboring buildings. A partial second level will be added at the rear of the building for back-of-house operations.

The wall from the Apple site fell against the neighboring building leading to its evacuation.

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  • Eric Panzer

    The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  • Name Withheld

    This mistake may end up costing somebody a lot of money.

  • Peggy

    That may be, but it fell on Another Planet.

  • Peggy

    Mine was in response to this:
    The Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
    (I think Name Withheld and I posted at the same time.)

  • ladypants

    An apple a day may keep others’ customers away.

  • Eric Panzer

    Hmm, since I appeared to have started to a pun-off, here are a few I also considered

    How about dem Apples?
    Builders Booksource is getting a taste of forbidden fruits.
    That wall didn’t fall off the Apple cart yesterday. (Until tomorrow, when it will have.)
    No one likes an Apple-demolisher.

    What? Not funny? Come on, puns are as American as…

  • http://berkeleyhomes.com/blog Ira Serkes

    If they’d only read the books they bought from Builders Booksource ….

  • http://berkeleyhomes.com/blog Ira Serkes

    This golden delicious moment brought to you by Microsoft, whose new movie “Better red(tagged) than dead” opening on 4th Street in time for be-Labored pun day.

  • G

    Ha HA HA!! Love all them puns

  • steve

    I suspect they’ll find the core of the problem.
    The story does have some appeal, doesn’t it?
    All in all, another brick in the wall.

  • http://www.ebcoho.org/ Raines Cohen

    I was just in there Friday — twice: once to pick up a LEED Green Associate study guide (I passed), when I ran into the US Cohousing movement co-founder, Architect/Author Chuck Durrett, and then that evening for a talk by Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Tiny Homes, along with several East Bay Cohousing members. The first time there, I was part of a conversation with George about the net effect of the Apple store opening nextdoor, and how they could take advantage of the expected crowds rather than lose business because of the loss of parking and difficulty of access. Hard to imagine him anticipating this kind of impact.

  • janey

    At least Apple has enough money to properly fix the wall!

  • http://www.berkeleyhomes.com/blog Ira Serkes

    Hit the wall, Mac, and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more.

  • http://www.berkeleyhomes.com/blog Ira Serkes

    On wall, den pun’d?

  • http://www.berkeleyside.com Lance Knobel

    Ira, you should have quit after “Hit the wall, Mac.”

  • http://www.ketersalon.com Yesenia

    It’s actually affected 4 businesses in the building. Keter Salon being one of them

  • http://Berkeleyhomes.com/blog Ira Serkes

    Per Yesenia’s comment – the upstairs is yellow tagged.

  • http://Berkeleyhomes.com/blog Ira Serkes

    This is one of the reasons I keep thinking of Christchurch …and Berkeley.

    Worth doing a series on preparing for our next quake.

  • Jazz1

    Apple crushes the competition even if they aren’t the competition!

  • http://www.berkeleyhomes.com/blog Ira Serkes

    Jazz1 – sounds like you have in-cider information.

  • Ed Young

    You don’t have to be a Mac genius to hire an engineer to design some shoring. Maybe the job went to the low bidder. One bad apple can spoil………..

  • wendy

    The good news is that Builders Booksource was able to reopen so quickly!