Tag Archives: Downtown Berkeley


3 teens arrested after downtown Berkeley robbery, assault

Police arrested three teens at the downtown Berkeley BART station after a robbery and assault were reported Tuesday night. Photo: Mona Taleb-Agha
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Three teens assaulted and robbed a man in his 60s in downtown Berkeley on Tuesday night, but were arrested by police a short time later, authorities said Wednesday.

Tuesday just before 9:20 p.m., the man had been walking from his vehicle in the 1900 block of Addison Street, between Milvia Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, when three males approached him and demanded his wallet, said officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman.

One of the males was holding what appeared to be a gun. Coats said he struck the victim, which knocked the man to the ground. The teens then went through the man’s pockets, stealing cash and his keys. … Continue reading »

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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
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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 »

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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
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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 »

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Missing at-risk woman reunited with family in Berkeley

Frances Green. Image: BPD
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A woman who went missing from the North Berkeley Senior Center on Friday, whose whereabouts were unknown for approximately seven hours, was reunited with her family Friday night after being spotted by an observant passer-by who was on her way home from work, authorities said.

Seventy-year-old Frances Green, who has Stage 4 Alzheimer’s, walked out of the senior center, at 1901 Hearst Ave., and disappeared just before 1 p.m. Friday.

Authorities were alerted to her absence and began keeping watch for her around Berkeley. Police printed fliers with information about Green and distributed them to nearby agencies, and informed community members in the area what to watch out for.

When Green remained missing despite initial efforts, the Berkeley Police Department also sent out an alert via the California Highway Patrol’s “Silver” network — similar to the Amber alert system but for seniors — and activated an alert network connected to the medical response system.

Some residents in the area were also notified by phone via the city’s emergency notification network, BENS. Several tips about possible sightings of Green came in to dispatchers, as well as calls from residents who were annoyed or confused about what the notification meant, and whether it was authentic.

In addition to those efforts, police called in four search dogs from the volunteer Alameda County Search and Rescue team to help try to find Green. Many of her family members responded to the area too, walking nearby Berkeley streets to try to find Green throughout the evening. … Continue reading »

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Update: Missing at-risk woman found in Berkeley

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Original story, 7:20 p.m. Police are asking for the community’s help to find an at-risk woman missing out of Berkeley since early afternoon Friday.

Frances Green, 70, has stage 4 Alzheimer’s and has been missing since about 12:55 p.m. when she walked out of the North Berkeley Senior Center.

Green is described as a light-complexioned Hispanic woman with a medium build, short gray cropped hair and brown eyes.

She was last seen wearing a camel-colored fleece jacket, black pants and navy blue shoes. She was not wearing her glasses, according to police. … Continue reading »

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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
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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 »

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Great China to open in new Berkeley spot in days

Great China
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Great China, the popular downtown Berkeley restaurant that was shuttered by a fire in January 2012, will soon reopen in a smart, newly designed location with 50% more space. The core culinary offering remains the same, but there are some additions to the menu, including more desserts, and, the owners say, customers will see improved service.

“We’re really excited to get back to serving our loyal Berkeley customers again,” said Tai Yu, who, with his brother James Yu and father Ching Yu, own and run Great China.

The Yus hope they will be able to throw open the doors at 2190 Bancroft Way (at Oxford) on Friday or Saturday this week (the restaurant used to be a 2115 Kittredge, now home to Arabica). After nearly two years of planning and construction work, all that remains are final city inspections.  … Continue reading »

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Organic Greek restaurant Pathos opens in Berkeley

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After more than a year and a half of planning and building, chef Nicholas Eftimiou last night unveiled his new organic Greek restaurant, Pathos at 2430 Shattuck Ave. in downtown Berkeley.

The restaurant serves tasty Greek favorites such as Gemista (stuffed red peppers), Moussaka, and Keftedes (lamb meatballs) — as well as fresh seasonal fish and zesty salads — in an upscale rustic-meets wine country decor. At least on opening night, the atmosphere was buzzy but not over-loud (you can hear yourself think, as well as talk), and the wine list offered some interesting, reasonably priced Greek bottles that complement the food well.

The restaurant is very much a family affair. Eftimiou’s father, John, worked as the contractor on the restaurant build-out and his mother oversaw much of its design, as well as helping fine-tune the recipes, many of which originated in the kitchen of Eftimiou’s yaya (grandmother). … Continue reading »

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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
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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 »

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Ms Barstool: Mixing it up improv style at Gather

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Crowd-pleasing classics and improv behind the bar: Gather pulls it all together Several weeks ago, we were enjoying a cocktail at another East Bay establishment and engaging in conversation with the bar manager, when the gentleman on the next barstool chimed in. As it happens, this gentleman is a bar chef in his own right, and suggested we visit the bar at Gather in Berkeley. We discovered in the course of our discussion about cocktails and other important issues, that he used to be the star behind the bar at Hudson, a Rockridge favorite that closed a year or so ago. We filed away his suggestion, and finally made our way to Gather.

We visited on a Saturday evening, prior to an event at a local music venue. Once we let the host know we were just planning to visit the bar for cocktails, he directed us to the rear of the restaurant and promised us an enjoyable experience. The bar is cozy, with a small number of tables and barstools inside and a sheltered patio right outside. High shelves bordering the bar area contain jars of colorful pickled vegetables. … Continue reading »

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Metered parking changes launch Tuesday in Berkeley

The city-sponsored goBerkeley campaign is based on the concept of demand-responsive pricing. Image: City of Berkeley
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After months of outreach and planning, new parking meter rules designed to change business-as-usual in three commercial districts in Berkeley go into effect Tuesday, Oct. 15.

The changes, under the moniker goBerkeley, are designed to make it easier for drivers to find parking spaces in three of the city’s busiest commercial areas, and to cut down on pollution associated with circling to find a spot. The city says it hopes goBerkeley will make it easier for visitors “to dine, shop and enjoy the arts in three of the City’s most vibrant districts,” according to a statement released by officials last week.

The goBerkeley model is based on the concept of “demand-responsive” pricing, so that prices reflect demand in several congested areas around town. The hope is to free up one or two spaces per block, by raising or adjusting the pricing in a way that will encourage some of the people currently filling spaces to move a bit farther away or use alternative modes of transportation. The city has been studying current parking demand, and plans to analyze how the changes affect behavior.

“If it does what we hope it will – increase parking while decreasing pollution and traffic – the impact is huge,” said city spokesman Matthai Chakko.  … Continue reading »

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goBerkeley parking rules get final public review (for now)

How parking rate changes work: Block A is full while nearby Block B has plenty of spaces. If one vehicle is sensitive to the rate and moves from Block A to Block B, there is availability on both blocks. Image: goBerkeley
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The final recommendations for a new program aimed to curb carbon emissions and improve the “parking experience” in three commercial districts around town were presented in several community meetings this month.

goBerkeley is a three-year pilot program designed to reduce emissions and parking congestion; as part of the program, the city will adjust its parking rates in three business districts — the downtown, the Telegraph area south of campus, and the Elmwood. The changes are slated to go into effect in October, and to last for at least a year.

“It’s truly a pilot,” Willa Ng, the city’s project manager for the goBerkeley campaign, told a small group that assembled Monday evening in Berkeley’s central library to hear about the plans. “Let’s see what happens. And if it doesn’t work, it can go away.”
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2 goBerkeley public meetings on parking coming up

Parking pay stations in some Berkeley neighborhoods may get new signage as part of goBerkeley. Photo: Alta Planning + Design/goBerkeley
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Residents will have a chance to weigh in on and learn about proposed parking changes around Berkeley at two meetings coming up within the next week.

The downtown, Telegraph and Elmwood neighborhoods are slated to see changes to metered parking starting in September as part of the goBerkeley pilot campaign underway by the city to cut down on carbon emissions and encourage alternative transportation. The changes would be in place for at least one year, with minor adjustments possible along the way. … Continue reading »

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