Tag Archives: Downtown Berkeley Association

See plans Tuesday for new downtown Berkeley hotel

A 16-story hotel has been proposed on Center Street at Shattuck Avenue. (Click for more detail.) Image: JRDV Urban International
Print Friendly

A 16-story high-rise hotel under consideration in downtown Berkeley is making its way through the city approval process, with three preview meetings already completed before city panels related to development decisions. No votes have yet been taken, but are expected in the coming months.

The hotel, proposed by Jim Didion and Center Street Partners LLC, would replace the 1970s-era one-story Bank of America building and parking lot at Shattuck Avenue and Center Street. If approved, the project would transform one of the most visible corners in downtown Berkeley.

An open house about the project is scheduled for Tuesday, April 15, from 5-7 p.m. at the Marsh Theater, 2120 Allston Way. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Berkeley’s long-shuttered UC Theatre to get new life

UC Theater rendering
Print Friendly

For the last seven years David Mayeri has had a dream: to refurbish the old UC Theatre on University Avenue, which has been closed since 2001, and re-open it as a state-of-the art concert venue.

Mayeri, the former chief operating officer of BGP, the successful concert company started by Bill Graham, has come tantalizingly close over the years to pulling off the project. He got city approval to refurbish the 1,400-seat landmarked theater in 2009 and seed money from the now deceased millionaire music lover Warren Hellman. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Council to consider higher rates, evening hours for some Berkeley parking meters

Nearly full conditions on many commercial blocks in Berkeley during the evening hours may lead to metered parking until 8 p.m. (Click the map for the full presentation.) Image: City of Berkeley
Print Friendly

New metered parking rates and time limits, in effect in Berkeley since last fall in three of the city’s busiest commercial areas, have made it easier for many visitors to find daytime parking, according to new data released by city staff this week. But more changes are needed to meet the city’s goal of freeing up 1-2 spaces per block.

Proposed changes include slightly higher hourly rates in some areas, and a new pilot program to extend metered hours until 8 p.m. The Berkeley City Council would have to sign off on any new changes at a meeting currently scheduled for late April. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Oscars come to Berkeley at film foundation benefit

12 Years a Slave, one of the movies nominated for an Academy Award this year. The ceremony will be screened on March 2 at a benifit dinner for the Berkeley Film Foundation. Photo:
Print Friendly

The Oscars are coming to downtown Berkeley this year for the first time with a glitzy new event at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza that promises to give those who go a taste of the red carpet, and the chance to support our homegrown movie-making engine, the Berkeley Film Foundation.

Berkeleywood, on Sunday March 2, the night of the 86th Academy Awards broadcast, offers the chance to watch the ceremony live on the big screen while enjoying delicious food and wine prepared by Stephane Tonnelier, executive chef of Five restaurant.

Political satirist Will Durst is the emcee for the evening and the special honored guest is Academy Award winner Rita Moreno. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Couples say ‘I do’ in Berkeley Valentine’s Day celebration

wedding1
Print Friendly

Kelly Ross and Alyssa Journey were married in downtown Berkeley on Friday Feb. 14, but it was fluke that it happened at all. The couple, from Little Rock, Ark., was traveling to New York with plans to get married when their flight was cancelled. They rerouted to San Francisco and happened to see on Facebook that Berkeley was holding a mass wedding on Valentine’s Day. They decided to head here to tie the knot.

Ross and Journey were one of several couples, straight and gay, who were wed or who renewed their vows at a mass celebration at BART Plaza in downtown on Friday.

The event was orchestrated by the Downtown Berkeley Association on the first Valentine’s Day since the repeal of Defense of Marriage Act and the overturn of Proposition 8. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,
Community

Berkeley to celebrate Valentine’s Day with mass wedding

Photo: marie-11/Creative Commons
Print Friendly

Forget a mere box of chocolates or a bouquet of red roses or a pretty pink heart. The Downtown Berkeley Association has much bigger plans for Valentine’s Day.

To celebrate love, and the first Valentine’s Day since the repeal of Defense of Marriage Act and the overturn of Proposition 8, Berkeley will be holding a mass outdoor wedding for gay, straight and other couples on Friday. Everyone who decides to say “I Do,” at the 5:00 p.m. celebration near Berkeley BART also gets the chance to win an instant mini-honeymoon in downtown Berkeley.

“What better way to celebrate the first Valentine’s Day since the repeal of DOMA and Prop 8 than a mass wedding for all?” said John Caner, the CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association. “Our merchants were thrilled to donate mini honeymoon packages for three lucky couples.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

‘Explosive’ downtown Berkeley housing boom under way

More than 1,400 units are in the works for downtown. Image: Downtown Berkeley Association
Print Friendly

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 »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New 16-story hotel proposed for downtown Berkeley

Center Street Partners wants to construct a 16-story, 293 room hotel complex at Shattuck and Center. Photo: Center Street Partners
Print Friendly

A Carmel-based developer and UC Berkeley graduate will submit plans to Berkeley tomorrow to construct a 16-story, 180-foot-tall hotel with office space, meeting rooms and retail space at the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Center Street.

The new complex, proposed by Jim Didion and Center Street Partners LLC, would replace the 1970s-era one-story Bank of America building and parking lot, and, if approved, transform one of the most visible corners in downtown Berkeley. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Center Street garage slated for demolition, expansion

The Center Street garage is slated for reconstruction. Image: Google Maps
Print Friendly

Parking in downtown Berkeley may get harder before it gets easier as a new project ramps up to demolish and rebuild the Center Street garage to add hundreds of spaces, improve seismic security and incorporate “green building” standards.

The project is expected to strain parking demand downtown, where availability is often scarce already. City staff have been working to improve the parking situation via its goBerkeley campaign, which has been underway this year. Merchants have been keeping a close eye on the Center Street project and say they hope the city will be thoughtful as it moves ahead.

The five-story Center Street parking garage — which has entrances on both Addison and Center streets — has 420 spaces, ground floor retail and was built in the 1950s, according to the staff report prepared for last week’s Berkeley City Council meeting. Tuesday night, as part of the consent calendar, the Council approved paying up to $1 million to a consultant who will plan and manage the project.  … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

City parking garage fees up downtown, down on Telegraph

The Telegraph Channing garage will be free for the first hour beginning Dec. 2. Image: Google Maps
Print Friendly

Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council voted to change parking rates in three city-owned garages, downtown and near the Cal campus, as part of its goBerkeley effort to change driver behavior and make it easier for visitors to find street parking.

The multi-pronged campaign has been underway since earlier this year, and has included the promotion of alternative modes of transportation — via the distribution of car-sharing memberships and free transit passes — as well as adjustments to parking meter rates and time limits downtown, south of the UC Berkeley campus and in the Elmwood.

The pilot program aims to reduce pollution, congestion and drivers circling for a spot by using what’s known as demand-responsive pricing, which sets parking rates based on a supply-and-demand philosophy. The most convenient spots tend to be the most expensive and are available for shorter amounts of time, while spots further away, which are in less demand, are cheaper and can be used for longer periods. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Uncharted, Berkeley’s first ideas festival is 1 week away!

Speaker-grid-for-Bside
Print Friendly

The finishing touches are being applied to the program, the speakers, all world experts in their fields, are tweeting about their imminent appearance on stage in Berkeley, and the final decisions on wine pairings, music sets and lighting for the sure-to-be celebratory party at the art museum have been made. This time next week the inaugural Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas will be in full flow.

The program is bursting with entertaining and thought-provoking conversations. Here’s just a taste:

Browse the full program here; learn more about the speakers here.
Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Postpone the start of fall with Endless Summer Cinema

invasion_of_the_body_snatchers_1978_movie_image_donald_sutherland_01
Print Friendly

Interested in postponing the start of fall? Then indulge in some classic films at the (free) Endless Summer Cinema outdoor movie series.

Endless Summer Cinema, presented by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and the Downtown Berkeley Association, features two nights of free short movies and feature films screened outdoors on the Crescent Lawn at Oxford Street between Center and Addison.

On Friday, Sept. 27, sit back, perhaps with a blanket, to enjoy Philip Kaufman’s 1978 remake of the 1950s vintage science fiction thriller Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which tackled the perils of mass conformity. The newer film follows a health inspector (Donald Sutherland) who uncovers the existence of a growing species of “pod people” inhabiting the bodies of human clones hiding among us in plain sight. The movie was shot in San Francisco and, along with Sutherland, stars Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy. (115 minutes)
Continue reading »

Tagged , ,

Missing at-risk San Jose man found safe in Berkeley

Larry Morris. Photo: San Jose Police
Print Friendly

A mentally disabled man from San Jose who’s been missing since mid-August was found in downtown Berkeley on Thursday evening, apparently trying to take BART to Fremont.

The man was found by a Downtown Berkeley Association manager who was heading home from work. Lance Gorée said he’d learned about the missing man at noon Thursday when a University of California police officer alerted a downtown ambassador who works with the association to help keep order downtown.

“The UC Berkeley officer came down and stopped one of the ambassadors and told her that they were looking for the man,” said Gorée. “She gave him one of our radios to announce it to everybody on the team.”

Forty-four-year-old Larry Morris had last been seen at 1 p.m. Aug. 15 in the Valley Fair Mall in Santa Clara. After he went missing, officers searched the area for him, and sent a notice to surrounding law enforcement agencies to ask them to be on the lookout for Morris. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , ,