Tag Archives: Acheson Commons

‘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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Berkeley Ace Hardware still on the lookout for new space

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As downtown Berkeley prepares for the construction of the city’s largest ever apartment building, locally owned Berkeley Ace Hardware remains on the lookout for a place to relocate temporarily. Owners Bill and Virginia Carpenter continue to consider open spaces around Berkeley, but are hoping to remain downtown.

“The process is going slow,” Bill Carpenter said. He added that if community members know of open spaces where the store might be able to move in, they should let him know. … Continue reading »

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City’s largest apartment building ever gets go-ahead

A rendering of the Acheson Commons complex on University Avenue, which now will go forward.
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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 »

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Berkeley set for $12.7m in downtown transport grants

An early conceptual rendering of the new Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza.
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Berkeley expects to get $12.7 million in grant funding for changes to BART Plaza, Shattuck Avenue and Hearst Street that should make life easier for people using the Downtown BART station and buses, biking to campus and even just driving through the center of town.

On Thursday, May 23, the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) voted unanimously on an initial approval of the city’s grant proposals for the three transit projects. Construction could begin in 2015, said Matt Nichols, principal transportation planner for the city.  … Continue reading »

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Acheson Commons sent back to Berkeley zoning board

Acheson Commons is a mixed-use development planned at University and Shattuck. Image: Rhoades Planning Group
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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 »

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1,000 new apartments planned for downtown Berkeley

A rendering of 2701 Shattuck Avenue by Todd Jersey Architects
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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 »

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Ace Hardware will not move to Andronico’s old space

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Berkeley Ace Hardware has decided not to move to the former Andronico’s site at 1414 University Avenue and it appears that a used clothing store may be taking over the 25,000-square foot space instead.

After negotiating a lease with the property’s owner, Keenan Land Company, Bill and Virginia Carpenter, the owners of Berkeley Ace Hardware, decided not to make the move. Instead, the store appears to be staying put, despite the fact that it will sit in the center of a construction zone as the Acheson Commons, a 205-unit residential development, is built around it. … Continue reading »

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News

Two Berkeley brown shingles for sale. Price: $1 each

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Two brown-shingle homes located in the heart of downtown Berkeley have been put up for sale. The asking price? Just $1.00 apiece.

The houses are on the site of the proposed Acheson Commons development that would impact the building that houses Ace Hardware on University Avenue. As part of the review process, developer Equity Residential is required to try to sell the properties before demolishing them.

The Moore/Acheson House and the Baldwin/Acheson House at 1922 and 1924 Walnut Street date from 1905. Neither house is landmarked or a designated historic resource, and they have been vacant for many years so are in a state of disrepair. A buyer would be required to pay for the removal of the two homes, one of which was originally a single family home, subsequently converted into a duplex. The larger of the two was designed multi-residential property when it was built. A buyer would also need to move the homes to a suitable site within Berkeley on a deadline of May 2013. … Continue reading »

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Acheson Commons: Large change for downtown

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One of the first projects to be built under Berkeley’s recently adopted Downtown Area Plan will be Acheson Commons which will transform the entire city block bordered by University Avenue, Shattuck and Walnut streets, and Berkeley Way.

The project, which has been under discussion for some time, was the subject of a rare joint meeting of the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Design Review Committee on March 29.

The proposal for the area sees the creation of 205 new residential units and above-ground floor retail space. The developer is Equity Residential, of Chicago which builds and owns rental housing projects nationwide. EQR previously purchased the Bachenheimer Building at 2119 University Avenue from local developer Patrick Kennedy, and subsequently bought the adjacent properties. … Continue reading »

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