Demolition has begun on the lot at the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Dwight Way, bringing down the building that was home to furniture store Modernaire, which has moved to a new location. In its place will be a new, 6-story mixed-use housing development, construction of which is set to begin in September.
Menlo Management Company is behind the development at 2107 Dwight Way, which will feature 99 rental units, 5,607 square feet of ground-floor retail space, and 45 parking spaces. A 2012 zoning board report says the housing units will be marketed primarily to students.
The project’s architect is Richard Christiani of San Francisco-based firm Christiani Johnson Architects. Christiani says he expects to complete construction in March 2016, 18 months after the scheduled start date. He said demolition at the site will be complete soon.
The development will include nine below-market-rate dwelling units. This is the minimum required for a 99-unit building under Berkeley law, which mandates that one in 10 units be “affordable” — priced so a family earning less than the regional median income can afford the rent.
According to the Christiani Johnson Architects website, the Dwight Way development will also feature a landscaped central courtyard, a rear yard with outdoor grilling and a movie theater, bike storage and car share facilities.
Modernaire, which specializes in mid-century modern furniture, has moved to 1621 San Pablo Ave., near the junction of Cedar and Hopkins.
The Dwight Way project is one of a wave of developments set to cause a boom in population and retail space in downtown Berkeley. According to a 2014 brochure from the Downtown Berkeley Association, more than 1,400 new units are planned for the area by 2018, potentially increasing the population from 3,000 to 5,000.
The city approved the Dwight Way project in 2012. Since then, there have been no changes to the permits, meaning that the building will meet the original specifications. Christiani said the project is going according to plan.
“We have the conditions of approval and everything [was] met. So we’re designing to what was approved,” he said.
Charles Siler is a summer intern at Berkeleyside. He grew up in the North Bay and now attends Tulane University in New Orleans. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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