Tag Archives: Lower Sproul Plaza

Amazon opens new store on UC Berkeley campus

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Amazon opened a sleek, modern, brick-and-mortar store on the UC Berkeley campus Thursday and it promises to ease package delivery and return for students, faculty, staff and the community.

But Amazon hopes the store, located in the refurbished Martin Luther King Jr. building facing Sproul Plaza, will be more than that. There are couches and chairs scattered around the 3,500-square-foot space, as well as a large television screen for students to watch movies or play video games. A large table holds Kindle e-readers, Fire Tablets and Fire TV devices, creating “an interactive Amazon device experience,” according to a press release.

The idea is to be such an inviting environment that students “turn into lifelong customers,” said Ripley MacDonald, Amazon’s director of student programs. … Continue reading »

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Construction to begin on 8-story building in downtown

Berkeley Way West as seen from Shattuck Avenue. Photo: WRNS Studio/UC Berkeley
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By Yasmin Anwar/Berkeley News

Construction is scheduled to begin this month on an 8-story complex in downtown Berkeley to house the campus’ Graduate School of Education, School of Public Health and the Department of Psychology.

The 320,000-square-foot building at Berkeley Way and Shattuck Avenue will replace Tolman Hall, built in 1965, which has been deemed seismically unsafe and will be demolished once the new building opens in fall 2017. Tolman Hall currently houses the Graduate School of Education in one wing, and the psychology department in the other. The School of Public Health is headquartered in University Hall.

Read more on the Berkeley Way West project on Berkeleyside.

Dubbed Berkeley Way West, the project will include more than 7,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, and classrooms, offices, open workstations and collaborative space on the floors above. A courtyard on the east side of the building will connect to a pedestrian walkway at the adjacent Energy Biosciences Building. The total cost for the project is estimated to be around $150 million, and will be paid for with private and state funding. … Continue reading »

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Lower Sproul restaurants, bar opening this fall

Photo: Equator Coffee
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Cal’s Lower Sproul Plaza is scheduled to re-open in the fall after two years of construction with a new selection of food, coffee and drink purveyors, all of which will be open to the public. The choice will include a burger joint, a salad and sandwich spot, a pizza place and a Mexican restaurant.

The Lower Sproul Plaza Redevelopment program, construction for which began in early 2013, replaces the old, seismically unsound Eshleman Hall with a 50% larger (though shorter) building. It will house the MLK Jr. Student Union which has been upgraded with the addition of a new space on the sides facing Lower Sproul and Bancroft Way, among other renovations.

The new food options will include four restaurants on the plaza level, two coffee shops and a Bear’s Lair Bar and Kitchen at the west end of Eshleman. The dining commons in MLK will have a small stage for student performances and DJs. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Millennium opens, Iyasare news, more

Millennium restaurant in Rockridge. Photo: Millennium/Facebook
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Openings, closings…

MILLENNIUM OPENS IN ROCKRIDGE Earlier this year, we broke the news that San Francisco’s Millennium restaurant was moving into the former Box & Bells space in Rockridge. As of yesterday, June 4, the new Millennium is open for business. The vegan restaurant announced its San Francisco closure back in January; the owners of the Geary Street hotel, in which it was housed, sold the building and the new owners did not wish to keep the restaurant. Owners Eric Tucker and Alison Bagby raised some of the funds for the Oakland move on a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. The new Millennium has a similar menu to the original location, featuring high-end, plant-based dishes made with organic, seasonal produce. Inside Scoop reports that the menu will be slightly shorter than at the San Francisco location to fit the smaller kitchen and will also include a few less-expensive (read: under $20) dishes. Tucker and Bagby plan to continue their winemaker dinners, cooking classes and special dinners. They plan to add new events “tailored to the new space” as well as weekend brunch starting in the fall. For now, Millennium is in soft opening mode and is serving dinner seven nights a week. Millennium Restaurant is at 5912 College Ave. (at Chabot), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.Continue reading »

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Locals worry new Cal high-rise will reduce parking

Berkeley Way West as seen from Shattuck Avenue. Photo: WRNS Studio/UC Berkeley
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Some Berkeley residents and Cal employees are worried a new UC Berkeley high-rise set to be built downtown might create parking issues.

The concerns were voiced at an open-house meeting to view and discuss the project, held Thursday in Cal’s Energy Biosciences Building at 2150 Berkeley Way.

Read more about tall building projects in Berkeley.

The Berkeley Way West academic building, set to reach 112 feet tall in some sections, will be built on top of an existing parking lot, exacerbating the tight parking situation for UC employees. UC Berkeley already demolished one main parking structure, the Oxford Way and Addison Street parking lot, in 2013 to make room for the new Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and plans to build a new aquatics center on top of the Tang Center parking lot on Bancroft Way. … Continue reading »

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An argument between a group of juveniles turned violent Christmas Eve when one pulled out a gun and fired off three shots, according to the University of California police. No one was injured in the incident.

UC police went to Lower Sproul Plaza on Dec. 24 at 7:35 p.m. after receiving a report that a gun had been fired, according to a press release. Police detained some of the juveniles, although others in the group had already fled. Police also recovered a handgun at the scene.

The person suspected of shooting the gun is described as an African-American juvenile male wearing a two tone jacket. He is also apparently carrying a dark hand gun.

The University of California police are asking anyone with information to call the Criminal Investigation Bureau at (510) 642-0472 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and (510) 642-6760 at all other times.

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New Sproul, design ideas provide optimism for Telegraph

An architect's rendering of the new Eshelman Hall, along Bancroft Way
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The future of Telegraph Avenue was the focus of a special work session of Berkeley’s City Council on Tuesday evening. Where most discussions of Telegraph concentrate on the many problems of the area — declining retail sales, vacant lots, troubling street behavior — Tuesday was filled with positive images and ideas for the avenue.

At the center of the discussions was one concrete project — the University of California Berkeley’s Lower Sproul Plaza redevelopment — and one ambitious series of new ideas, created by Berkeley Design Advocates following their design charrette last April.  … Continue reading »

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