Tag Archives: 2501 Haste Street

‘Explosive’ downtown Berkeley housing boom under way

More than 1,400 units are in the works for downtown. Image: Downtown Berkeley Association
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More than 1,400 housing units are currently in development in downtown Berkeley, with demolition on one of the first in the pipeline scheduled to begin this week.

There are eight projects, including a hotel, planned in the downtown core, with two more planned just south, on Dwight Way, and another proposal on University Avenue just west of downtown that’s set to have its first public city review next week.

Demolition for The Durant, which has frontage on both Durant Avenue and Channing Way, was slated to begin Monday, Jan. 13, according to Downtown Berkeley Association CEO John Caner.

Caner said the project is expected to break ground for construction several weeks after that.

According to Downtown Berkeley Association calculations, the new projects will bring at least 1,414 new units and more than 88,000 square feet of new retail space to the downtown area. Not included in those calculations is the project just beginning city review, The Overture, which would bring an additional 44 units and 4,151 square feet of retail and restaurant space to the city’s core. … Continue reading »

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‘Moorish-style palace’ for Telegraph Ave. is step closer

Image: Kirk E. Peterson & Associates
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A six-story, mixed-use, Moorish, palace-like structure inspired by Italian hill towns is one step closer to being built on Berkeley’s iconic Telegraph Avenue after the project sailed through a review by the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board last week.

ZAB commissioners were generally receptive to the building’s unusual design, according to Commissioner Steven Donaldson.

Addressing the architect of the project, Kirk E. Peterson, ZAB Commissioner Shoshana O’Keefe said she approved of the design. “It’s weird and I like that,” she said. O’Keefe said she grew up in Berkeley, had always appreciated the “weirdness” of Telegraph Avenue, and that it was good to see something unusual, “a little different,” proposed for the area. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley settles case with blighted Telegraph lot owner

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The city of Berkeley and Ken Sarachan have settled a lawsuit over his empty lot at 2501 Haste St. on the corner of Telegraph Avenue, clearing the way for the construction of a a six-story, mixed-use, Moorish, palace-like structure inspired by Italian hill towns, Tibetan forts and the rock-cut architecture of Petra in Jordan.

Under the settlement, Berkeley agreed to drop its lawsuit to force Sarachan to pay $640,000 in liens or have the city sell the lot at auction. In exchange, Sarachan agreed to meet specific deadlines to pursue and build something on the lot that has been vacant for more than 20 years. … Continue reading »

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Telegraph Ave property owner shows plans for vacant site

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The owner of a blighted lot at Telegraph and Haste that has been vacant for more than two decades presented his plans for a fortress-like building on the property, although he said he wouldn’t build anything there as long as the city of Berkeley had a lawsuit hanging over him regarding the site.

Ken Sarachan, who bought the north-west corner lot on Telegraph and Haste in 1994, has visions for a Moorish palace-like structure inspired by Italian hill towns, Tibetan forts and the rock-cut architecture of Petra in Jordan. Architect Kirk Peterson introduced the blueprints and renderings for the project, known as “La Fortaleza” (as in “fortress” or “stronghold”), on Tuesday evening to a small group of interested parties gathered at Caffe Med a few doors down from the lot in question on Telegraph Avenue. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley files suit against owner of blighted Telegraph lot

Ken Sarachan, who owns multiple properties on Telegraph Avenue, bought 2501 Haste St. in 1994. The Berkeley Inn sat there until a fire destroyed it. Photo:Frances Dinkelspiel
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The city of Berkeley has filed a lawsuit against Ken Sarachan, telling him they intend to seize his lot at the intersection of Telegraph and Haste to pay off the $640,000 he owes in liens and interest.

Berkeley filed the suit against the businessman in Alameda County Superior Court on January 28th and served Sarachan’s place of business, Rasputin Records, on Monday, according to Zach Cowan, the city attorney.

“The city is alleging that Mr. Sarachan has not lived up to his agreement to pursue development of the site in a diligent and timely manner,” said Cowan. “As a result, we want to recover the liens we offered to waive if he did so.”

Mr. Sarachan could not be reached for comment. The suit also names Laurie Brown, his wife, as a co-defendant since California is a community property state. … Continue reading »

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City to consider suing owner of blighted Telegraph lot

Ken Sarachan, who owns multiple properties on Telegraph Avenue, bought 2501 Haste St. in 1994. The Berkeley Inn sat there until a fire destroyed it. Photo:Frances Dinkelspiel
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The city of Berkeley may finally be getting fed up with the vacant, rat-infested lot on the northeast corner of Haste and Telegraph.

The City Council on Tuesday will consider filing a lawsuit against Ken Sarachan, the owner of the lot, to collect $500,000 in city liens on the property. The idea so delights City Councilman Kriss Worthington, who represents the area and who has long been frustrated by an empty space in such a prime commercial district, that he … Continue reading »

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