Tag Archives: Downtown Berkeley

Downtown Ace Hardware moving 2 blocks to Milvia Street

Ace Hardware will move to 2020 Milvia St. soon. Photo: Google Streetview
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Ace Hardware, which has been operating out of its space at 2145 University Ave. since 1945, will be moving sometime in the spring to 2020 Milvia St, just two blocks away.

Bill and Virginia Carpenter have to move their 16,000-square foot store because the building they are in is supposed to be extensively remodeled to make way for the 205-unit Acheson Commons apartment complex. (Equity Residential, which owns the entitlement rights to build Acheson Commons put them and its entire Berkeley portfolio up for sale last year, however.)

The Carpenters have been looking for a new space since 2012, when the city council approved Acheson Commons. They almost moved into the old Andronico’s space on University Ave., but later decided it was not right for the store. Savers Thrift took over the space instead, but shut its doors in January.

The Carpenters wanted to stay in downtown Berkeley, where a version of the hardware store has been since 1895, said Bill Carpenter. … Continue reading »

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End of the road for Berkeley’s Subterranean Arthouse

Subt with Maya Dorn in distance- photo: Claire Duplantier
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News that the Subterranean Arthouse is closing didn’t come as a complete surprise, but that doesn’t make the loss of the inviting downtown performance and exhibition space any less disappointing.

Founded seven years ago by Claire Duplantier and Nicole Rodriguez, the intimate storefront at 2179 Bancroft Way in the Odd Fellows Building quickly became a vital hub for a disparate array of artists, teachers and organizations. But, over the past year, as the space transitioned from focusing on evening performances to daytime classes, noise complaints from other tenants in the building and rising rent led to an impasse. As of February, the Arthouse will cease to exist, and the space will be made available for other tenants.

“It’s been seven years since we started it and so much has happened in that time,” said Duplantier, who started phasing out of running the Arthouse about a year ago when she had a baby. “It’s sad that it’s closing. So many amazing people have come through, and I’ve learned and grown so much. I want to focus on celebrating the Arthouse’s contributions more than feeling angry at the Odd Fellows. We started in 2009 and people would tell us, you’re crazy, starting a business now. It was so much fun and we made it work.” … Continue reading »

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BAMPFA’s inaugural exhibition, ‘Architecture of Life,’ is an eloquent survey

Architecture of Life,on view at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, January 31–May 29, 2016. Installation view, with a Dogon ritual altar ladder (left) and awork by Chris Johanson (right). Photo: Sibilia Savage
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BAMPFA’s new building is an absolute winner. The 82,000-square-foot home catapults Berkeley’s visual art scene into prominence — comparable to many larger, richer and better established West Coast institutions. It handsomely repurposes the former 1930s WPA UC printing plant building. Affixed to it is a brightly clad steel tube-like section that houses the new 232-seat Barbro Osher Theater, where films from its impressive archive of over 300,000 items will be regularly screened. There is also a 33-seat screening room and two film viewing booths available by appointment.

As a building that needs to serve town and gown, visual art lovers and movie goers, the new BAMPFA very successfully performs its multiple functions. And, although its steel covering, reminiscent of a Frank Gehry project, is incongruous with the neighboring buildings, it still seems to work. The design by the world-class architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, provides an inviting, open, multilevel environment, with its share of hidden corners, and reading, art, performance and meeting places. And, of course, the Babette café and a gift shop. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

Gorgeous and Green
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WILLIAM STOUT CLOSES/RELOCATES Architectural bookstore William Stout has closed its Berkeley store, at 1605 Solano Ave., and is merging the business with its publishing arm on the Richmond waterfront. Owner Bill Stout told Berkeleyside the North Berkeley store never really met his expectations. “Moving means we can consolidate our inventory and service our mail-order customers quicker,” he said. Stout, whose flagship store has operated on Montgomery Street in San Francisco for more than 40 years, opened the Berkeley store in fall 2010. At the time, Bill Stout said he chose Berkeley because of the store’s publishing collaboration with UC Berkeley, and because he saw the Solano district as being “a more vibrant residential neighborhood than where we are now.” Stout also homed in on Berkeley because he believed there were more bibliophiles in the East Bay. “In San Francisco an interest in books is dying,” he said in 2010. Stout is hopeful that this latest decision”should be a good move.” William Stout‘s East Bay outpost is now at 1328 South 51st St., Richmond. Continue reading »

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BAMPFA builds temporary tent for its opening gala

A temporary tent is built by BAMPFA abutting Oxford Street for its opening gala on Jan. 28. Photo:
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Many readers have been in touch with Berkeleyside asking about the strange big “structure” being erected on UC Berkeley property at Oxford Street.

We posted the answer on Twitter and Facebook earlier this week, but, in case you missed that, we can confirm it is a temporary tent to host the “Portal” opening gala party on Jan. 28 for the Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive, across the street from its new downtown Berkeley location. The gala, by the way, is all sold out.

Read more about the new Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archive.

The new museum flings open its doors to the public with a big Open House on Sunday Jan 31, starting at 11 a.m..

Before the museum opens, there’s a chance to hear architect Charles Renfro, of Diller Scofidio + Renfro talk about the design of the new BAMPFA at a free lecture on Jan. 27, 12-2 p.m. … Continue reading »

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Gas tank discovered on former Oscar’s lot

Cleanup at the future Sweetgreens location. Photo: @gmcc/Twitter
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It’s not always easy to renovate an historic eatery.

Washington, D.C.-based salad chain Sweetgreen has been working on its new Berkeley location, in the former Oscar’s restaurant, since last fall. Over the past two months, construction has hit a slight snag, however.

We learned from Sweetgreen co-founder Nicholas Jammet that the site, at 1890 Shattuck Ave. at Hearst, housed a gas station prior to Oscar’s — which was a fixture at that spot for 65 years before it closed last year. Jammet said he and the rest of his team were aware of the issue before signing the lease, and he told NOSH in an email that they secured an outside agency to run an environmental safety analysis of the building. They also have worked with the landlord to ensure that environmental testing and cleanup would be performed if needed during construction.

As it turned out, more than just a little cleanup was needed. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Teen with gun spotted near Berkeley High, detained

Berkeley High police cruiser. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Berkeley authorities detained two people — one of whom was spotted with a gun — Wednesday afternoon in what school officials say was a continuation of problems that began downtown Tuesday when a group of teens assaulted a BHS student.

Officers have not yet recovered a firearm, according to the 7:19 p.m. statement released by Berkeley High School Principal Sam Pasarow, but they are continuing to search for it in the area around campus.

According to the statement, a BHS staff member spotted a non-student with a gun at 4:15 p.m. near the eastern side of campus, on Milvia Street.

Berkeley police officers responded immediately, Pasarow said, and detained that person and a second non-student. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley teen arrested with gun amid fights downtown

Berkeley Police cruisers. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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An 18-year-old from Berkeley was arrested with a loaded gun Tuesday evening after authorities responded to reports of large groups of youth fighting in the streets downtown, police said.

Shortly after 7 p.m., a Berkeleyside reader reported a “heavy” police presence downtown, and asked for more information.

Berkeley Police Lt. Dan Montgomery told Berkeleyside that police had been alerted earlier in the evening to a group of about 60 young adults “pushing and fighting” in the street in front of Papa John’s, on Shattuck Avenue between Allston Way and Kittredge Street.

A caller also reported that one member of the group pulled out a gun during the disturbance.  … Continue reading »

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180-foot high-rise proposed over Berkeley Walgreens

Terrace Green Apartments is proposed at 2190 Shattuck. Image: WRNS Studio
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A San Mateo-based developer has submitted an application to build a 180-foot-tall mixed-use high-rise in downtown Berkeley over a redesigned Walgreens store.

Shattuck Terrace Green Apartments at 2190 Shattuck Ave., just north of Allston Way, is set to include 274 units, 12,000 square feet of commercial space, and a 19,000-square-foot underground garage with spots for more than 80 vehicles. The 18-story structure would replace a 2-story retail building. Walgreens is there now, and is expected to return if Terrace Green is built, according to project documents.

Read more about tall buildings proposed in Berkeley in past Berkeleyside coverage.

The city’s Downtown Area Plan, which was adopted in 2012 after Berkeley voters endorsed its concepts in 2010, allows for the construction of three 180-foot-tall buildings in Berkeley’s downtown core, and two 120-foot-high buildings. UC Berkeley has the right to build two more 120-foot structures. … Continue reading »

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Lawsuits filed to stop building of Harold Way complex

2211 Harold Way is one of several tall building proposals in the pipeline that must offer "significant community benefits" under the Downtown Area Plan. Image: MVEI Architecture and Planning
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Update: This story was updated Jan. 15 to add another lawsuit. Scroll to the bottom of the story for details.

Kelly Hammargren, one of the most active opponents of the planned 18-story high-rise at 2211 Harold Way in downtown Berkeley, filed a lawsuit Wednesday charging that the city of Berkeley did not do an adequate environmental review of the 302-unit complex.

Hammargren filed her lawsuit on the last day permitted to file a legal challenge, which was 30 days after the Berkeley City Council’s Dec. 8 vote approving the project was certified. None of the other residents who opposed the 2211 Harold Way project joined Hammargren in the lawsuit, nor is there a law firm representing her interests. Hammargren intends to represent herself, at least for now.

Read complete coverage of 2211 Harold Way on Berkeleyside.

In 2012, when the then recently passed Downtown Area Plan was adopted, three neighborhood preservation groups joined together to file a suit against the city. … Continue reading »

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Human foot found on Berkeley BART tracks

Said Siciliana Trevino shortly after 2 p.m.: "Power out all over #Berkeley BART is still running - take a free ride from downtown!" The station is closed as of about 2:40 p.m.
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BART workers found a dismembered foot on the tracks in Berkeley Monday morning and believe it belongs to a woman who jumped in front of a train on Dec. 20.

BART officials briefly closed the downtown Berkeley station around 4 a.m. after workers found the right foot around 3 a.m., according to Jim Allison, a BART spokesman. The station reopened a short time later. Service was not delayed. … Continue reading »

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Ippudo NY to open ramen brasserie in Berkeley

Chesapeake Tonkotsu Ramen, a dish served at Ippudo in the East Village. The restaurant group is opening its first West Coast spot in downtown Berkeley. Photo: Ippudo NY
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Ippudo, which describes itself as a “Japanese ramen noodle brasserie” is to open its first West Coast restaurant in downtown Berkeley.

The global restaurant chain has signed a lease at 2011 Shattuck Ave. (at University), in the street-level retail space that will also soon be home to Berkeley’s first Blue Bottle Coffee shop.

Originating in Japan, Ippudo has restaurants across Asia and Australia, as well one in London and two in Manhattan. It was founded in 1985 by Shigemi Kawahara with, according to its website, an emphasis on Tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen and a wood-centric interior design. … Continue reading »

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BART train runs over woman at Berkeley station

Downtown_Berkeley_BART_Station_platform
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Update: 3:30 p.m. The woman whom Berkeley firefighters rescued from under a BART train at the Berkeley station Sunday morning jumped in front of the moving northbound train, according to a witness. The BART driver did not see her before she jumped.

Erika Dumaine, 28, and her partner were on the platform waiting for a San Francisco-bound train when they heard a man yell, “She’s jumping!” They turned around and saw the northbound train come to a stop. They later heard the woman talking from under the train.

“It was really horrible,” said Dumaine. “My partner was really shaken up. There were sirens immediately. People were scared. They didn’t know what was going on. There was a guy yelling, ‘I can’t believe she jumped. I can’t believe she jumped,’ over and over. … Continue reading »

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