Daily Archives: July 6, 2012


The Berkeley Wire: 07.06.12

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Arpeggio Building sold, to open in September

The Arpeggio Building at 2055 Center Street.
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The Arpeggio Building at 2055 Center Street, which was once envisioned as gleaming tower of pricy condos, has been sold to a real estate group that plans to open it as apartments in late September.

CityView, a real estate fund founded by Henry Cisneros, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton, paid $60 million for the 143-unit, nine-story building. Its seller was Dallas-based SNK Realty, which had secured a $65 million loan from U.S. Bank as part of its $81 million development of the project.

“We’re really excited,” said Anthony Cardoza, managing director of CityView’s $300 million Bay Area Fund and a resident of Berkeley until last year. “I think it will be nice for the urban core. Berkeley continues to want to invest in downtown. The more bodies you have down there, the more people living there, the more it changes the foot traffic and the feel of the downtown community – for the better.” … Continue reading »

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Sunshine committee decries ‘unfair’ ballot

Berkeley Councilman Kriss Worthington (left) and Mayor Tom Bates (right) contrasted two different, and at times contentious, camps on the open government ordinance before the council Tuesday night. Photo By John C. Osborn
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The citizen committee behind the Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance on the November ballot has sent city officials a lawyer’s letter threatening a lawsuit unless changes are made to the wording of both the ballot question and the city attorney’s published analysis.

The proposed Sunshine Ordinance establishes new meeting and agenda requirements for the Berkeley City Council, the Rent Stabilization Board and the city’s many commissions. It also creates increased disclosure requirements and creates a new Sunshine Commission to monitor and enforce the ordinance. Among the issues in contention between the current wording and the committee’s desires is whether the cost — estimated by the city at $1.5 million annually — can or should be included, and whether the new commission’s authority to sue the city should be specified in the ballot question.

Bradley Hertz at The Sutton Law Firm writes, “In order to avoid litigation, we demand that the ballot question and City Attorney’s Analysis be amended forthwith to cure the fatal flaws that now exist.” … Continue reading »

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Babette’s feast: Finding fine fare at Berkeley Art Museum

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Oakland’s loss is Berkeley’s gain: local chefs Joan Ellis and Patrick Hooker were exploring opening a venture called Babette’s Table on Temescal’s hipster Telegraph Avenue, but, for a variety of reasons, the deal for the upscale restaurant-grocery-café space fell through.

So the partners in work and life started scouting around for places where they might serve up seasonal, rustic grub. Via the local food-folk grapevine they learned that the owner of Oakland’s Remedy Coffee, who, as well as a Telegraph spot had also set up shop in the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) café space, was looking to sell.

And so Babette at BAM was born. Seven months on, the café has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal following. The café serves breakfast (like bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches, steel-cut oatmeal with apricots, cranberries, and toasted pistachios, and baked goods such as fruit-filled pastries), lunch, and coffee and sweet treats into the early afternoon. … Continue reading »

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