180-foot high-rise proposed at Walgreens

Terrace Green Apartments is proposed at 2190 Shattuck. Image: WRNS Studio
Terrace Green Apartments is proposed at 2190 Shattuck. Image: WRNS Studio

A San Mateo-based developer has submitted an application to build a 180-foot-tall mixed-use high-rise in downtown Berkeley over a redesigned Walgreens store.

Shattuck Terrace Green Apartments at 2190 Shattuck Ave., just north of Allston Way, is set to include 274 units, 12,000 square feet of commercial space, and a 19,000-square-foot underground garage with spots for more than 80 vehicles. The 18-story structure would replace a 2-story retail building. Walgreens is there now, and is expected to return if Terrace Green is built, according to project documents.

Read more about tall buildings proposed in Berkeley in past Berkeleyside coverage.

The city’s Downtown Area Plan, which was adopted in 2012 after Berkeley voters endorsed its concepts in 2010, allows for the construction of three 180-foot-tall buildings in Berkeley’s downtown core, and two 120-foot-high buildings. UC Berkeley has the right to build two more 120-foot structures.


Including Terrace Green, proposals are now in the pipeline — or, in one case, approved — for five of the seven slots. The Berkeley City Council approved 2211 Harold Way (18 stories) in December, but that decision has been challenged in court. A 16-story hotel has been proposed at the Bank of America property at Shattuck and Center Street, but is still working its way through the permit process. There’s also a 120-foot-tall condo project proposed at Shattuck and Berkeley Way, and UC Berkeley is already at work on an 8-story complex, more than 110 feet tall, on Berkeley Way.

Several of the buildings proposed in downtown Berkeley. Image: WRNS Studio
Several of the buildings proposed in downtown Berkeley. Image: WRNS Studio

According to project documents, some of the key benefits Terrace Green will bring include transit-oriented housing to get more shoppers downtown; LEED Gold standards; BART plaza enhancements; street activation; transit passes for all households and employees; underground parking; ample on-site bike parking and a bike repair shop; a garden and rooftop terraces for residents; and a “Significant increase in property tax revenue and other revenues to the City.”

The project as designed includes “stepped” massing, meaning that the height shifts across the complex, getting taller as it moves west from Shattuck.

“On Shattuck, the project’s lower levels will mediate between the height of the Constitution Square building to the north and the height of the historic Hotel Shattuck across Allston Way to the south,” according to the documents. “The high-rise sections of the building are situated toward the center of the block. The upper section of the building is narrow from east to west to minimize its profile as seen from downtown streets and UC Berkeley’s campus.”

The street-level retail space is set to feature “a ‘main street’ facade filled with generous windows.” On the south edge of the site, street improvements are planned to draw pedestrians toward the BART plaza, which is slated for an overhaul.

The view from BART plaza. Image: WRNS Studio
The view from BART plaza. Image: WRNS Studio

Those sidewalk improvements could include an “art walk” with “large art vitrines that are integrated in the storefront, enhanced stone paving at the art vitrines and along the curb, including benches, planted trees, and bike racks.” The so-called art vitrines could display work by local artists, and show “current activities, architectural models, or relevant community information.”

A community art space is also proposed, adjacent to the lobby, which could be used by members of the public for events.

The project could include green balconies like these. Image: WRNS Studio
The project could include green balconies like these. Image: WRNS Studio

The project includes a number of green features, which are required by the Downtown Area Plan. There’s a green roof to help filter stormwater and “lush plantings” planned on the roof and balconies. The building also proposes a “passive solar” design, with moveable shutters and vertical glass fins to deal with heat and sunlight. “Low emissivity” glass is proposed, “to reduce glare to minimize the need for building cooling and lead to a softer appearance from street level.”

As for the tenants, the developer thinks the units will be attractive to young couples, students and UC Berkeley professors, professionals “who might otherwise seek similar types of housing in San Francisco” and empty nesters. There are 119 one-bedroom units in the mix, and 48 two-bedroom units (908 square feet on average), along with studios (62, with an average size of 486 square feet) and micro units (45, with an average size of 393 square feet).

Developer Mill Creek Residential representative Don Peterson submitted the documents to the city Dec. 21. The project architect is WRNS Studio, which is based in San Francisco. Peterson did not respond to a request for information from Berkeleyside.

As noted in the documents, “This ‘initial submittal’ is required of downtown high-rise projects to initiate the entitlement process. The project will be reviewed, and environmental analysis will be conducted throughout 2016.” As with other projects, the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board and Design Review Committee will be a significant part of that review. An EIR, or environmental impact report, is required.

There’s no proposed timeline in the documents, but the applicant has requested project review to be scheduled “as soon as possible.”

See the conceptual project application.

Related:
Lawsuits filed to stop building of Harold Way complex (01.14.16)
Berkeley approves construction of Harold Way high-rise (12.09.15)
Construction to begin on 8-story building in downtown (12.07.15)
Center Street hotel previewed by zoning board (11.19.15)

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