Category Archives: Real estate
A new shared workspace is set to open in downtown Berkeley later this year at 2081 Center St.
The 9,000-square-foot space in Berkeley will be able to host more than 200 members. The company offers a variety of membership types, which include 24/7 access and conference room space, and “accommodate a variety of workstyles, from open and collaborative to heads-down and deadline driven,” according to the company website. … Continue reading »
UC Berkeley officials held a public hearing Wednesday night on plans to build a new aquatics center at 2222 Bancroft Ave., east of Oxford, and were told the one-story building is a lost opportunity for improving the area and would be too disruptive to parking.
UC hopes to start construction on the $15 million project in August to alleviate the crowding that now takes place at Spieker Pool. Currently, all 120 of Cal’s swimmers, divers and water polo athletes, as well as recreational swimmers, must use that facility, putting a severe strain on its capacity. … Continue reading »
A 205-unit apartment complex planned for downtown Berkeley is going back to the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board after an appeal before the City Council on Tuesday night.
Acheson Commons, at 2133 University Ave., was approved by the zoning board in December, but appellants questioned numerous aspects of the project and the council voted unanimously to ask the board to take another look. (See project materials on the city website. The complete administrative record is available here.)
According to the staff report prepared for Tuesday’s special session, the project is set to increase annual tax revenue by $57,000 and bring in $360,000 to support the city’s Streets and Open Space Improvement Plan. (Update, 1 p.m.: A representative for the developer, Mark Rhoades, said the per-year tax basis increase is closer to $600,000. Scroll down to see a chart of the five-year financial projections he provided.) … Continue reading »
City zoning commissioners asked for more excitement and creativity from developers after a preview last Thursday night of a 355-unit 17-story rental high-rise planned for downtown Berkeley.
The Residences at Berkeley Plaza, at 2211 Harold Way, have been described by developers as “an environmentally sustainable, transit-oriented mixed-use development that will bring new vitality to the core of downtown Berkeley consistent with all of the policy and zoning standards set forth in the new Downtown Area Plan.” (Read more about the project in past Berkeleyside coverage.)
Amenities presented to the Zoning Adjustments Board on Thursday, March 14, included landscaped roof-top open spaces with heated trellises, a wide range of sustainable building features and a public plaza that would connect all four sides of the block (Allston Way, Shattuck Avenue, Kittredge Street and Harold Way). … Continue reading »
The Zoning Adjustments Board approved a new 78-unit apartment building for downtown Berkeley in a 5-2-1 vote Thursday night.
But opponents of the plan, who have criticized the new building’s potential impacts on its neighbors, say they will definitely appeal the decision to the City Council.
The building, called “The Durant,” is set to have frontage on both Durant Avenue and Channing Way; it’s set mid-block between Shattuck Avenue and Milvia Street. The south side of the building is proposed to rise to four stories, and the north side to reach six. (The developer had originally proposed eight stories on the north side but recently reduced it to six after the City Council lowered fees relating to affordable housing requirements.) … Continue reading »
Berkeley commissioners have postponed their vote on a project planned for Durant Avenue and Channing Way after the developer said he would reduce its scale following a recent decision by council to lower fees related to affordable housing requirements.
Developer William F. Schrader Jr. — of Alamo-based The Austin Group — presented the project to the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board on Thursday night. The project has been before the city’s Design Review Committee four times, but Thursday was its first time before the ZAB. The development has frontage at both 2024 Durant Ave. and 2025 Channing Way, and would include 78 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, along with 36 parking spaces, said Schrader.
The project — underway since May 2011 — spans two lots between Channing and Durant; on the south side, a deed restriction limits the height of the building to four stories. The north side of the property, fronting Durant, is proposed to include six stories, and reach 60 feet at the roof. A church at 2024 Durant would be demolished to make way for the new development, though its steeple, said the developer, will be displayed as public art on the new site. … Continue reading »
Berkeley officials voted Tuesday night to reduce, temporarily, a fee required of developers in hopes of both replenishing a city fund for affordable housing and curtailing building heights in projects planned to buffer downtown.
The Berkeley City Council has, for quite some time, grappled with how to build up its affordable housing stock. Developers in Berkeley are required to provide a certain amount of affordable housing, either by paying into a city fund that’s used to build this housing elsewhere, or by including below-market-rate units in their projects.
If they elect to pay rather than build, the money goes into the city’s Housing Trust Fund. The fund was established in 1990 to pool available federal, state and local money for these projects. Some officials have said the city might be able to build more units, as compared to what private developers would produce, if developers pay into the public fund. … Continue reading »
Following the financial crisis of 2008, house prices in Berkeley and throughout the country plummeted. In the last couple of years, Berkeley house prices stabilized, but according to the most recent data it looks as though 2012 marked a real upturn in house prices.
Local realtor Ira Serkes, from Pacific Union International/Christie’s Real Estate, compiled detailed data on all the single family house sales in Berkeley last year. It provides a distinct picture of both the nature of the Berkeley market, and the improving prices for sellers. (All the charts in this article are compiled from Serkes’ data. If you click on the images, you can access interactive versions of the charts on Infogr.am.)
According to the data, the median price for two-bedroom houses rose 6.7% last year, three-bedroom houses rose 10.8%, and four-bedroom house prices were flat. Median prices are still well below the 2007 peak. There were 581 closings on sales of single family houses in Berkeley, compared to 535 in 2011.
The view from the L-shaped deck off the penthouse apartment at 2055 Center St. is spectacular. One side looks west toward San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Another side offers a sweeping vista of Berkeley’s downtown and hills.
For $6,300 a month, the amenities ought to be top-of-the-line, and at the recently opened Berkeley Central — formerly known as the Arpeggio Building — they are. From Bosch appliances and stainless steel designer lights to the wood floor (dark or light, depending on the unit), the six penthouse units on the ninth floor promise an urbane, urban lifestyle.
The building, which the developer CityView acquired in a fire sale in July 2012 for $60 million, has been open for about seven weeks, and about 35% of its 143 units have been leased, according to Natasha Moses, a property manager for Riverstone Residential Group, the leasing agent. … Continue reading »
A Los Angeles real estate group submitted an application Thursday to build Berkeley’s first high-rise in 40 years — a 17-story luxury apartment complex on Harold Way that connects to the historic Hinks Department Store on Shattuck Avenue.
HSR Berkeley Investments wants to spend as much as $200 million to construct a 180-foot tall tower with 355 residences next to the property that now houses the Shattuck Cinemas and various offices.
The new apartments, called The Residences at Berkeley Plaza, are designed to appeal to empty nesters and high-income professionals, such as those who work at booming San Francisco technology companies like Twitter and Salesforce.com, but who are having difficulty landing an apartment in the city.
A Los Angeles real estate group has snapped up the 92,000-square foot building that holds the Shattuck Cinemas, according to the San Francisco Business Times.
Hill Street Realty paid about $20 million, or $217 a square foot, for the property, formally known as Berkeley Center. In addition to the cinemas (which used to hold Hinks Department Store) the property houses Habitot Children’s Museum, a Starbucks, and various offices. The Hotel Shattuck Plaza sits on the block, but was not included in the transaction. … Continue reading »
Developers of new residential rental properties in Berkeley can now choose to pay into a special city fund instead of including on-site affordable housing after an 8-1 vote Tuesday by the City Council. It’s the latest step by City Hall to create policies that will increase Berkeley’s affordable housing stock.
But whether developers will choose to pay the fee remains to be seen, and some members of the City Council caution that setting the fee too high could have unintended, unavoidable, consequences for future projects.
The city requires developers of new market-rate rental properties to make one of their units affordable — to households earning 50% or less of the region’s median family income — for every 10 market rate units. This means that the units would have to be affordable, for example, to a family of three in Berkeley making $42,100 or less. … Continue reading »
The expansive, elegant home that has just come on the market at 1345 Arch Street looks like it has all the elements one associates with the best, quintessentially Berkeley homes. There’s the brown shingle, of course, and the many Craftsman touches, as well as artistic interiors, lots of outdoor space, and Bay views. The cherry on top is that it is walking distance to the Cheese Board and Chez Panisse.
There are 5+ bedrooms, 3½ bath, a spacious family room, flexible office/breakfast room with French doors to yard, plus room/office in basement and lots of storage. The property, which is listed at $1,595,000, has been in the same family for 25 years.
The owner, who is leaving after raising a family of four in the home, says in her letter to prospective buyers that the house was “taken down to the studs and reimagined as an arts and crafts revival.” Features include Bradbury & Bradbury wallpapers, hand-stenciling and paint finishes, historically significant tiles and handcrafted fireplaces and woodwork in the living and dining rooms. … Continue reading »