Category Archives: Real estate
An architecturally distinguished mid-century modern home in north Berkeley changed hands this week for the first time since it was built in 1952. It sold for just over $1 million.
The Kip House, at 775 San Diego Road, was designed by architect Donald Olsen and is located across from John Hinkel Park.
Olsen was a professor at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. His home, which is next door to the Kip House and is of a similar design, was landmarked by the city in 2009. … Continue reading »
A new eight-story building could take the place of the Firestone garage and parking lot at Milvia and University, if a newly proposed development at 1974 University Ave. is approved by the city of Berkeley.
The project is still in its nascent stages as far as the city permit approval process; developer William Schrader Jr., of Alamo-based The Austin Group, submitted the application Friday, with the possibility of a design review session coming in August.
Schrader’s son, AJ, a broker with San Francisco-based boutique real estate firm Retail West, who procured the sale of the land, said last week that the deal took about 14 months to negotiate. The sale won’t be final until the city entitlement process is complete, or nearly complete, he added.
William Schrader said the new development would help continue extending “the retail experience” from Shattuck Avenue downtown westbound on University Avenue. The new building is planned at this time to include an atrium that’s open to the sky. The first story would be retail, which is set to include a full-service restaurant, perhaps 3,500 square feet, and some other commercial spaces on University. … Continue reading »
Property owners, tenants, and city officials gathered Thursday to discuss a proposed ordinance that would require seismic retrofitting of more than 150 residential buildings with soft, weak or open-front conditions, also called soft-story buildings, which are highly at risk of collapsing in strong earthquakes.
But property owners argued at the meeting that “a host of roadblocks” discourages those who want to retrofit their soft-story buildings.
Green Skies Vertical Farm (GSV Farm) on Channing and Fifth Street is even more hyperlocal than a farmer’s market. The food is grown, harvested and sold from 739 Channing Way, a once-vacant lot that now is home to stacked planters full of strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes and dozens of other edible plants.
David Ceaser started GSV Farm on April 15 this year and said “it’s still really an experiment.” He goes by the lot that he leased several days a week, spending “two hours here, three hours there.” He has several other jobs, Ceaser said, but this is his passion.
Ceaser was formerly the business manager of an organic farm in the Central Valley, but soon realized the “inefficiencies” of the business model. Transporting bushels of food from the valley out to various farmers’ markets came to appear to him to be incredibly wasteful, he said, and, once the farmer gets there, he or she may not sell even half the produce in the stall. The stall across the way might also have the same products, but for half the price. … Continue reading »
A new 69-unit building, with 7,240 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor, has been approved by the city’s zoning board for construction on Addison Street.
The six-story 60-foot-tall building is the latest development by property owner Avi Nevo, who has developed numerous projects in Berkeley over the last 17 years, including Telegraph Gardens across from Whole Foods.
“I’ve been building projects in Berkeley since long before it became so popular,” Nevo told the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board in late June. … Continue reading »
After at least eight meetings dating back to late 2011, the Berkeley City Council voted last week to begin to try to curb the proliferation of “mini-dorms” in residential areas around town.
Residents, particularly in the campus area, have been speaking out to the city about the problems that can be posed by these set-ups, which the city defines as group living households where renters have individual leases with landlords. Residents have said certain landlords pack as many people into these properties as possible, which leads to problems with noise, parking and traffic. … Continue reading »
Acheson Commons, the largest apartment complex ever planned for Berkeley’s downtown, is set to go forward after its opponents decided not to file a challenge to the plan.
A coalition of unions, preservationists, community activists and Rent Board members did not file an appeal to a recent ZAB ruling by the deadline, Monday, July 8, at 5 p.m. That means the 205-unit project slated for 2133 University Ave. could be completed in the next three years.
“I think this project is a cornerstone to the revitalization of the downtown, at least the northern end of it,” said Mark Rhoades, a former city planner whose Rhoades Planning Group is representing the developer, Chicago-based Equity Residential. … Continue reading »
Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council upheld a March decision by the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board to allow developers to move ahead with plans to build a 78-unit rental apartment complex in downtown Berkeley.
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 six. The architects are Johnson Lyman Architects of Walnut Creek.
The zoning board decision was appealed in April by Stephen Stine, who cited “severe detriments” related to noise, air quality and sunlight reductions that would affect residents, including his mother, who live in a senior housing complex — Stuart Pratt Manor at 2020 Durant — next door to the project site. Appellants also said the city hadn’t followed proper notification rules when zoning in the neighborhood was changed during the Downtown Area Plan process. … Continue reading »
Six state-of-the-art movie theaters have taken the place of a public plaza in new designs for 2211 Harold Way, Berkeley’s first proposed high-rise to be developed in decades.
In response to public support for the theaters, expressed vociferously by zoning commissioners at a preview session for the project in March, developers took out a pedestrian plaza and drew in the movie theaters, said Mark Rhoades, the project’s lead planning consultant and the property owner’s representative. … Continue reading »
This week, a four-bedroom home in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood sold after just three weeks on the market for a staggering $2.4 million, 42% over its asking price of $1.69 million. There were multiple offers on the house. The sale has raised eyebrows both in the neighborhood and among real estate professionals. However it is far from being the only example of escalating home prices in Berkeley and certain nearby areas, a development fueled by an influx of cash buyers falling over themselves to outbid competitors in their determination to snatch up property locally.
“I’ve never seen a market like this,” said Ira Serkes, a Realtor at Pacific Union Real Estate who created the Berkeleyhomes.com website. “The market has changed dramatically.”
“It’s really crazy,” echoed Marlene Leverette, who heads up the East Bay offices of McGuire Real Estate, describing the current real estate climate. “It crept up on us last year, and Realtors are all seeing the same thing: a lack of inventory and lots of cash buyers overbidding on homes by 20-40%.” Leverette said the surge is not restricted to Berkeley. Her colleagues at McGuire offices in San Francisco, the Peninsula and Marin are all telling similar tales. … Continue reading »
Parts of Gilman Street and Fourth Street in West Berkeley may be re-zoned from light industrial to commercial uses after a majority vote by the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday night.
The changes, depending on who you ask, will either serve simply to legitimize existing and planned commercial uses, or are an end-run around the failure of last November’s Measure T campaign that could put pressure on the neighborhood and threaten its character moving forward. (Measure T was focused on six specific sites, but opponents said it would open the floodgates to much broader development.) Proponents of the new zoning proposals say the changes would boost the city’s economy via increased revenue possibilities. … Continue reading »
The iconic Telegraph Avenue building that formerly housed Cody’s Bookstore could have a new identity before year’s end due to an ambitious project underway by local property owner Ken Sarachan.
Sarachan — who also owns Rasputin Music and Blondie’s Pizza, as well as the vacant lot north of Amoeba Music — describes his “Mad Monk Center for Anachronistic Media” as a two-story complex with a full-service restaurant, performance space, small flower kiosk, take-out coffee counter and analogue media shop that will bring together “the best assembly of records anywhere in California.” … Continue reading »
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 »