New mixed-use building going up on Telegraph at Ashby

A rendering of the mixed-use building being constructed at 3001 Telegraph. Courtesy City of Berkeley Planning Dept/Clayton Perry

Update, 01.07.13: Telegraph Gardens is now largely complete and more details about the building and rentals can be found on its website.

Construction is under way at the corner of Telegraph and Ashby Avenues to build a five-story, mixed-use building which will house 38 residential units, community areas and 4,000 sq ft of street-facing retail space.

Designs for the new building, which is at 3001 Telegraph Avenue opposite Whole Foods, show new landscaping and a roof terrace. The project architect is Rony Rolnizky.

The lot has been vacant since 2008 when a gas station that used to occupy the site was demolished.

It has been so rare to see major construction projects under way in the past few years, that it’s quite a novelty to spot earth movers and cement mixers at work.

Full details of the project, including drawings and permit applications, can be seen on the City of Berkeley’s planning department website.

Construction crews at work at 3001 Telegraph Avenue. Photo: Tracey Taylor

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  • berkeleyhigh1999

    having been harassed, followed, stalked, yelled at, and refused repairs after paying rent on time every month for years and then having a small time landlord bogus eviction ruled a wrongful eviction and a tool for harassment to replace a rent controlled tenant for a higher rent tenant I beg to differ I know nothing about small time Berkeley landlords. 

    And I brought new construction law cause you referenced renter’s rights to this new construction.

    look man argue all you want, or just don’t buy rentals in berkeley cause no one is forcing you to. Maybe take a hint that in this city small time landlords have to respect 44 year tenants and their legal residence no matter who the title transfers two. Renters are not a possession that comes with a property. They are real people who are paying for the leagl right to make that unit their home.

    Perhaps a “landlord for dummies” book will help, as here in this country we aim to avoid fuedalism and the control over other people’s lives that hinder freedom, even if they god forbid have to rent their residence for more than one or two years.

  • http://www.webhamster.com/ The Sharkey

    “I beg to differ I know nothing about small time Berkeley landlords.”

    Again, no one said that.

    If you feel like having a real conversation, let me know.
    Until then, it’s not possible to have a discussion as long as you’re going to keep putting words in my mouth.

  • DC

    No – they don’t have the right to say there as long as they desire. It isn’t owned by them.  There are many circumstances under which a person can be evicted, when appropriate.

  • Charles_Siegel

    Sharkey, would you want to give landlords the right to evict tenants who are over 60 years old and have been in their apartment for 44 years?

    Where do you want those people to go, if they are retired and on a fixed income that has not kept up with rising housing prices?

  • http://www.webhamster.com/ The Sharkey

    Thanks for making a reasonable reply and attempting to have a real discussion, Charles.

    Honestly, I don’t know what should be done in that situation. It’s bad news all around. But I don’t think that a property owner should be forced to have something they own held hostage just because someone has planned poorly for their retirement.

  • berkeleyhigh1999

    DC:

    See the berkeley good cause for eviction laws. SO seems they do have the right to stay as long as they want.

    http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/ContentDisplay.aspx?id=9284

  • berkeleyhigh1999

    …trying to keep it civil….

    if someone is not owning property in their retirement, maybe they did not plan poorly. maybe they are poor or not as well of financially as some.

    I personally don;t think being poor or relatively poor is always one’s own fault. This seems to be a common issue for debate among liberals and conservatives.

  • EBGuy

    Regarding 1509 Kains.  From what I can tell, the property was sold for a song in 2010.  Judging from permits, it appears the new owners recently put on a new roof and added a second bathroom.  The rent stabilization database shows Not Available for Rent, so I’m assuming this is an OMI (otherwise, they will have their heads handed to them if they don’t offer it back for rent to the previous tenants — and rightly so).  As for the renter at 1509 1/2 — well get out your actuarial tables.  This place looks like it was quite a deal.

  • http://www.webhamster.com/ The Sharkey

    To clarify, I was not attempting to suggest that not owning property was an example of “planning poorly for retirement.”

    I was saying that being “retired and on a fixed income that has not kept up with rising housing prices” was an example of planning poorly for retirement.

    Being poor may not be anyone’s fault but choosing when and where to retire is, and making the decision to retire early on an extremely small fixed income in one of the most expensive regions of the state isn’t good planning.

  • http://www.webhamster.com/ The Sharkey

    Just because they do have the right does not mean they should.

    This is why so much of the rental property in Berkeley is so expensive, and why it is largely controlled by just a handful of conglomerates instead of individuals who might introduce more downward competition for rental prices.

  • berkeleyhigh1999

    if they pay their rent, then they very well should stay as long as they want. we are talking about shelter here, a basic human right.

    most of these stories you hear most likely from landlords with tenants not paying their rent.

    Like Thomas brice lord love said there are mainly 2 kinds of landlords in berkeley, the small time ones who feel the rules are to strict, and the landlords that have property managers that follow the rules and don’t get sued.

    It should be a highly regulated business, as you are dealing with the lives of families in our community.

    fyi single family homes are exempt from rent control as far as i know.

  • http://www.webhamster.com/ The Sharkey

    Shelter may be a basic human right, but shelter in someone else’s private property is not.

    Not all small time landlords can afford to hire property managers.

  • berkeleyhigh1999

    okay okay, we’re on two different wavelengths here.a few situations:you buy a duplex and wanna move in to the main unit for 36 consecutive months, you can evict a tenant. But the tenant has the legal right to fight for their rights under the law as well.you buy a rental and want “better(higher paying)” tenants, you can’t evict. But a lot of small time landlords will just harass anyways to get them out.And like I said the tenant does have a possessory interest in the property when you purchase their legal residence, and this must be respected. It comes across like you are saying someone is squatting in your attic if you buy a property with existing renters. I mean, properties with established renters always sell with a hefty discount so you get what you pay for.Finally,  shelter in someone else’s private property is an oxy moron, unless of course it is an unregistered illegal unit. A legal rental unit would in fact not be your private property, but your rental property. You could turn in back into your own property i.e. a 4 unit building into a SFH, but that would require the appropriate permits.Especially in Berkeley it is widely known we value human rights over property rights so yes someone higher up the financial ladder will be more inconvenienced in creating their desired rental for cash flow than someone renting and getting by in their rental.

  • http://www.webhamster.com/ The Sharkey

    “It comes across like you are saying someone is squatting in your attic if you buy a property with existing renters.

    In essence, they are.
    The rental agreement was with the previous owner, not the new owner.
    While I believe that the new owner should have to allow the tenant to stay in the property until the expiration of the initial lease, they should not be obliged to allow someone to live in/on their property in perpetuity under the terms of a lease agreement drafted by someone else.

    Again, this just shows why rental property in Berkeley is increasingly being controlled by just a handful of conglomerates instead of individuals, and why rental pricing remains so high. Are there nightmare landlords? Sure. But there are plenty of nightmare tenants as well.

    I’m not sure if this discussion is going to get us anywhere. It’s clear that I hold a more Libertarian-esque personal rights view of what an owner should be able to do with their property, and you hold a more Communist/Socialist view. I doubt either of us will change our opinions.

  • Nick Mamatas

    I’m not gonna drag my ass across Shattuck to buy a Christmas tree. That’s it, I’m changing religions!

  • Abc

    whine whine whine

  • Abc

    whine whine whine

  • Abc

    Great comments!

  • Abc

    Great comments!

  • Abc

    whine whine whine

  • Abc

    whine whine whine

  • Abc

    still whining

  • guest

    The new Trader Joe’s building at University & MLK is 100% full

  • guest

    Classic Complainer’s comment:
    I support such-and-such, just not THIS sort of such-and-such…

  • Charles_Siegel

    Bruce, I am not impressed by your Max Bialystok theory of housing development.  Give me an example of where it actually happened in Berkeley. 

  • Petsitter101

    >fyi single family homes are exempt from rent control as far as i know.      <

    Single family homes didn't used to be  exempt, but I am not up on RC lately, thank goodness.  In 1984, yeah I know a long time ago, my husband and I purchased a single family home in West Berkeley (our first and only home).  We had to wait until we had ownership of the house before we gave the tenants 30 days notice.  The tenants kept stalling and we HAD to vacate our present home  so we started moving in by putting our furniture in the front yard and said, "well I guess we move in with you if you are not moving out.".  They moved out. The rent board sent us a letter after and said it appeared we charged excessive rent.  Wrong! We collected exactly the same amount of rent for the ONE MONTH we were "landlords".  That whole experience colored my opinion of rent control
     and I would never be a landlord again, Berkeley or anywhere.  No way. 

  • Greg

    My post was satirical.  I actually agree with Eric. This looks like a lovely project; one likely to be a boon to the neighborhood.

    That said, I personally believe that even ill-informed, reflexive complaints are more enjoyable to read than bellicose sentence fragments.

    It looks like ‘dislike’ is available in Disqus.  Maybe Berkeleyside could add it to this forum so that people who are so inclined can communicate the full range of their thoughts on a comment with a single click?

  • Heather W.

    I have to interject a comment about a couple things; I live down the street from the Kains property. It looks like an awful dump, and if the person who lives in the cottage is ~60 years old and has been living there for 44 years, one wonders WTF? Most people work themselves up and out of the dump they started in — this person has stayed there as it deteriorated for 44 years; what is wrong with them and what is the condition of their cottage? I would wonder what HUD would say about the habitability of both the main house and the cottage. 

    Second, while I support Berkeley’s rent control laws and rights for tenants to an extent, and as SFR home owner and non-landlord, I have to say that I would never, ever buy a SFR in Berkeley with a tenant for any amount of money. It’s just not worth it. I have a friend who bought a primary residence, with a small rental property attached, and it cost him $30,000 to get the tenant out, and the tenant caused enormous damage in retaliation … never to be recouped by my friend, who was fair and reasoned. 

  • Choosiesoosie

    I think some of the Patrick Kennedy developments have car elevators.  they are for residents, though, not for guests or retail patrons. Gotta say, this looks like another fail for Berkeley.

  • Joanna Louie

    I live a mile from this development.  Putting the parking garage entrance and exit on Ashby is very poor idea.  I take Ashby everyday at various hrs and most of the time, it’s packed to the gills with cars.  But I welcome development.  Commercial space has a good shot at being taken up because the Whole Foods gets a lot of traffic.

  • libraterian

    re: 1509 Kains etc.
    Rent control’s demise will be one of several silver linings when (not if) the BIG ONE hits. What owner would rebuild to rent at prices which couldn’t support their construction loan? Another benifit will be the razing of most of our ersatz “landmarks”.

  • Billbartell

    a Parking lot entrance/exit ON ASHBY, JUST ABOVE TELEGRAPH ???  Somebody got away with some kind of hogwash to push that through…  and I’m somebody who supports much of this sort of development… THAT particular bit of POOR DESIGN will cost us all dearly- accidents, horns, aggravation, etc…NO DOUBT ABOUT IT…  wow

  • Mark Rhoades, AICP

    No. There is not, in fact, any zoning requirement for “community space.”

  • Jacob Lynn

    I agree that all these variances are nonsense — because it’s far too expensive to build in this town, and the only people who can afford to fight for variances that allow good urban building are big developers. Stop handing out variances and just allow five-story buildings!

    Note that the default zoning on the lot according to the planning website has fully three separate severe restrictions on size: minimum one parking space per unit, a floor-area-ratio of 3.0, and a maximum height of three stories. I’m not sure about this last one, I’m reading between the lines of the “findings and conditions” document — the fourth and fifth floors were both approved as variances. This despite the fact that the document explicitly says that five stories is a “appropriate building height” for that area. Thus, building to an appropriate height is illegal. This is nonsensical.

  • Telegraph Gardens