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  • Judge tosses out legal challenge to Berkeley high-rise

    An Alameda County Superior Court judge on Wednesday denied numerous challenges to the Environmental Impact Report prepared for 2211 Harold Way, meaning that construction of an 18-story, 302-unit building with 10,000-square feet of retail space and new movie theaters in Berkeley’s downtown can proceed – unless the decision is appealed.

  • The It List: Five things to do this weekend in Berkeley

    SANDZONE FOR KIDS This weekend is the last chance for your kids to enjoy the one-week popup Sand Zone that Habitot created by transforming a 3,600 square foot parking lot at Adeline and Alcatraz in Berkeley into a giant sandbox to promote active play for children of all ages.  Habitot received a $32,000 grant to create the play area from the 50 Fund — the legacy fund of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee NFL Foundation and KaBoom! SandZone is open 10am-6pm, and on Friday from 10am-8pm. The 48’ x 48’ pop-up play zone features 1,152 cubic feet of sand, 6” deep, with rain protection. Caribbean and Filipino food trucks will sell food throughout the week, and each day is themed with Friday being “Luau Party,” Saturday is “Treasure Island,” and Sunday  is”Sand Castles.” Once it’s over, Habitot will distribute the SandZone materials to low-income preschools in the East Bay. SandZone is free and open to the public. Families may register at: sandzone.eventbrite.com (more…)

  • Op-ed: Harold Way deserves better than Berkeley

    Harold Way could be one of the best streets in Downtown Berkeley. It’s a quiet, narrow, low-traffic, shady street with some beautiful architecture from the Dharma College buildings. It’s highly accessible – with a parking garage next door, in direct proximity to both Shattuck and Milvia (and the bike station on Shattuck), and just a few hundred feet from Downtown Berkeley BART. Harold Way is easy to get to by bus, BART, bike, foot, or car. With all the other opportunities in Downtown, a trip to Harold Way could easily be combined with a visit to the library, the theaters, the pharmacy, or even when making a transfer on the daily commute.

  • Berkeley Zoning Board considers community benefits of proposed downtown high-rise

    As Berkeley officials grappled with what the concept of “community benefits” actually means, the developer of the 18-story high rise at 2211 Harold Way announced at a Jan. 8 meeting of the Zoning Adjustments Board that he is willing to financially assist both the Habitot Children’s Museum and Boss, (Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency) as well as other organizations who must  relocate when the building is constructed.

  • The It List: Five Things to do in Berkeley this weekend

    GOODBYE TO THE OLD BERKELEY ART MUSEUM For 44 years, the Berkeley Art Museum at 2626 Bancroft Ave. has been a galvanizing force for culture in Berkeley and beyond. Many of the world’s greatest artists have performed or displayed their work there. But the Brutalist building designed by Mario Ciampi, and opened in 1970, is not seismically safe. It will close at the end of 2014 as BAM prepares for its move in early 2016 into a new 82,000-square foot home on Center Street designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. To celebrate the transition, BAM/PFA is throwing itself a goodbye party on Sunday called Let’s Go! A Farewell Revel. Starting at 11 a.m. and lasting until 5 p.m., the free celebration includes a create-your-own-museum art workshop, a dance battle by TURFinc, “vibrant vocals” from the women’s group, Kitka, a performance by pianist/composer Sarah Cahill of Gyorgy Ligeti’s 1962 composition “Poème symphonique” for 100 metronomes, and more. (Be sure to check out the Kickstarter campaign in progress to record the acoustics of the building.) The day will end with a procession from the Bancroft building through the campus to the new structure at 2155 Center St. Luckily, the forecast calls for a mix of sun and clouds. During the year it is closed, BAM/PFA will put on mobile exhibits around town. The PFA will continue to show films at its current site on Bancroft, across the street from the art museum. (more…)