Tag Archives: Telegraph Avenue

ZAB approves 2539 Telegraph EIR, postpones use permit

The latest proposal, submitted to the city in April, of Patrick Kennedy's Telegraph Avenue project. Image: Lowney Architecture
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Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board earlier this month approved the Environmental Impact Report for a controversial 6-story apartment building proposed on Telegraph Avenue, but postponed a decision on the project’s use permit to ask for a revised design plan from the developers and allow time for other items on the agenda.

The board was set to vote at its June 11 meeting on the project’s use permit as well as the EIR, but voted to put off the permit discussion when the meeting began to run long, asking the developers instead to bring a new plan for the project that reflected the commissioners’ concerns. (The meeting ended at 12:15 a.m.)

The building, at 2539 Telegraph, which is being developed by Patrick Kennedy of Panoramic Interests, has been considered as a landmark on two separate occasions due to its connection to the Center for Independent Living, an advocacy group for the disabled which began there in 1972. The Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected landmark status for both the building and a faded mural on one of its walls.

The project has been widely criticized by neighborhood residents as too large and, in the year since the zoning board first reviewed the project, the criticism has not died down. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Center Street garage project gets first review

The Center Street garage project would demolish the existing structure and build an eight story garage with retail and art display space. Photo: Zoning Adjustments Board project review
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The Center Street garage project, which proposes a larger, greener and seismically safer parking structure for downtown Berkeley, is slated for discussion at the upcoming Zoning Adjustments Board meeting this Thursday.

Until construction is complete, the project is likely to cause downtown parking to become more difficult than it already is. Under the current plans, an 8-story parking garage with commercial and arts display spaces on the ground floors would take the place of the existing structure, which would be demolished.

Read more about parking in Berkeley.

The Center Street garage is one of the most heavily used off-street parking areas downtown. It operates “at or near capacity during the daytime on most weekdays, and occasionally reaches capacity during weekday evenings and some weekends,” according to the city.

Discussions about the project have been in the works for two years. Thursday night will be the zoning board’s first chance to “preview” the project. Commissioners will provide comment to the city, but otherwise no action is expected. … Continue reading »

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Shakespeare & Co. closes after 51 years in Berkeley

Shakespeare & Co. on Telegraph Avenue and xxx closed on June 2, 2015. Photo: Ted Friedman
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Shakespeare & Co., a used bookstore that has been operating on Telegraph Avenue since 1964, closed its doors for good this week.

The owner, Jon Wobber, said the store was not earning enough income for the time he was putting in. He made the decision to shutter yesterday, on June 2, and served his last customer before locking the door for the last time around 8 p.m.

The building that houses Shakespeare & Co., at 2499 Telegraph Ave., on the corner of Dwight Way, was bought last year by Telegraph Partners, LLC, which plans to extensively remodel the building. Telegraph Partners managing member Ito Ripsteen said the company was open to the bookstore remaining, said Wobber. But the store would have had to close for three months, so Wobber thought the time was right to close the business. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Man charged with ‘rape by use of drugs’ in Berkeley

There have been 30 sex crimes reported to the Berkeley Police Department this year. Source: CrimeMapping.com
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A Vallejo man has been charged with rape by use of drugs after a coworker said he had sex with her when she blacked out after celebrating her birthday in Berkeley earlier this month.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged Paris Kapree Anderson, 28, on Monday with rape by use of drugs in connection with the incident May 10.

According to court papers, Anderson admitted during a phone call to having sex with the woman on the side of the road in the back of his car after the birthday celebration.

The incident was listed as having taken place at 9 p.m. in the 2600 block of Telegraph Avenue, between Carleton and Parker streets.

Police wrote that Anderson described the woman, during the phone call, as “so drunk that he had to carry her out of the bar.” He also said during the call, according to police, “that she was too drunk to move from the back seat into the front seat after having sex.” … Continue reading »

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7-story building, no parking, proposed on Telegraph

At right: a rendering of a 7-story building proposed on Telegraph to take the place of The Village. Image: Pyatok Architects
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A quaint shopping mall on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue — the site of restaurants Norikonoko, Finfiné, Koryo and Fondue Fred — along with the adjacent electronics shop, have been proposed for demolition to make way for a 76-unit 7-story mixed-use building without parking.

According to the developer, “many of the tenants” that operate on the property — called “The Village” — have said they might simply close rather than try to find new locations elsewhere.

The developer said in project documents, submitted to the city April 21, that the units will be marketed to students, couples and young professionals alike. A proposed rooftop deck fronting on Telegraph will offer residents “sweeping views of the bay,” along with “a variety of seating, shading, planting and other amenities.”

The developer plans to include 11% affordable units on site for people making 50% of the area median income, or $32,550 ($37,200 for a couple). “Prominent retail storefront” is planned on Telegraph, with a lobby and lounge proposed on Blake Street for tenants of the residential units. A bike storage room is set to include one bike space for each unit, but no vehicle parking is proposed.  … Continue reading »

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Crime

Panhandlers arrested after double stabbing on Telegraph

Image: Google Maps
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Two panhandlers were arrested early Saturday morning after police say they stabbed two bar patrons on Telegraph Avenue.

According to a statement released by the University of California Police Department, officers responded to a call at about 1:40 a.m. about an assault with a knife that had just taken place on Telegraph.

Two men were leaving a bar near Telegraph and Channing Way when two panhandlers approached them.

“An altercation ensued and the panhandlers stabbed the two bar patrons,” according to UCPD.

Both men were taken to Highland Hospital to be treated for their injuries. … Continue reading »

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Crime

5 charged after Telegraph Avenue fight leaves 3 victims

An officer keeps watch outside Pappy's on Telegraph in 2013 (file photo). Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Five men were charged this week after a dispute that began over a spurned dance invitation inside Pappy’s Grill & Sports Bar on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, police said.

According to court papers, the men “had possibly ‘thrown up’ gang signs and yelled that they were affiliated with a gang” before the attack. The victims told police they had no gang affiliation and had not met their assailants before that night.

Police responded Sunday at about 1:50 a.m. to reports of a large fight on the corner of Telegraph and Durant Avenue, said Officer Jennifer Coats, Berkeley Police spokeswoman.

Coats said one group of people had been inside Pappy’s, at 2367 Telegraph, when members of another group approached and asked some women to dance. The women refused. According to court papers, the first group had been celebrating a birthday.

“The suspects left and there were no other issues inside the business,” Coats said.

The birthday group left and was standing on the corner when violence struck. … Continue reading »

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Police

Pedestrian seriously injured after Berkeley crash

Traffic is backed up after a serious accident on Telegraph and Ashby. Image: Google Maps
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Update, May 21, 3 p.m. Police determined that the primary collision factor in this crash was a right-of-way violation by the Volvo driver, who failed to yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk.

Update, April 16, 5:45 p.m. Police released additional information about the crash in a Nixle alert at 5:35 p.m.

According to police, there was a report of an injury collision at Telegraph and Ashby avenues at 3:18 p.m. that possibly involved a semi-truck and pedestrian.

According to the preliminary investigation, a driver in a Volvo station wagon heading north on Telegraph was turning right onto Ashby when he struck a female pedestrian.

“While making his turn … the driver may have hit the accelerator and not the brake, causing the vehicle to go into the intersection as a panel truck was traveling east on Ashby. The Volvo then hit the side of the truck as it passed,” police wrote. … Continue reading »

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Crime

Berkeley police detain man after reported hammer attack

Berkeley Police on scene at Oregon Street where they detained a man who was allegedly involved in a hammer attack. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Berkeley police detained a man after he was allegedly involved in an assault using a hammer Tuesday afternoon at around 4 p.m. in Berkeley’s Southside neighborhood.

Because the suspect fled from the original scene, officers set up a perimeter that stretched from Telegraph Avenue between Stuart and Oregon streets to Regent Street, according to police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Coats.

Willard Middle School on Stuart Street was put on lockdown for a short time during the incident. … Continue reading »

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Op-ed: In Berkeley, how much tolerance is too much?

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In preparation for relocating to Berkeley five years ago, I arranged to pick up some moving boxes. It turns out, the couple giving me the boxes had just moved from Berkeley. When I asked why they left, they shared some nervous laughter and said something about getting out of there as quickly as they could. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to flee from Berkeley, a small city known for tolerance, fruit trees, beautiful weather, and a world-class university … Continue reading »

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‘Blade Runner’ screenwriter made lost film of Moe’s Books

Screen shot 2015-03-11 at 10.47.12 AM
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The film of a 1965 party at Moe’s Books that was recently discovered in the Berkeley dump was made by an Academy Award nominated screenwriter who was just starting out in the business when he shot the footage.

David Peoples, who arrived in Berkeley with his wife Janet in 1959 to attend Cal, shot the film of Moe Moskowitz arriving at his store on Telegraph Avenue in a Rolls Royce, dressed in a top hat, tails, and white gloves. Peoples had not watched the film in decades, and was surprised when a friend, who had seen the footage on Berkeleyside, contacted him to say it was on the Internet.

For Doris Moskowitz, the daughter of Moe and the current owner of Moe’s Books, finding out who made the film of the legendary party was a satisfying ending to a story that began when a scavenger brought the found footage into the store in November. … Continue reading »

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Thalassa space becoming music venue, beer garden

Site of new music venue and beer garden. Photo: Kate Williams
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The former Thalassa space in downtown Berkeley is not going to sit empty for long. The popular pool hall shut down last fall after losing its lease on the building, moved up the hill to Telegraph and Durant, and re-opened as Berkeley Public.

Now the enormous former pool hall, which is located at 2367 Shattuck Ave. between Channing and Durant, is being reconfigured as a craft beer garden and live music venue, says Alex Popov, who is spearheading the effort. Popov is a familiar name in the Berkeley food and drink scene; he founded Smart Alec’s in 1996 and Pappy’s Grill in 2012, and is running Liquid Entertainment, the company in charge of the music venue project.

The entirety of the venue, whose name has not been finalized, is huge — 12,000 square feet in total — and will be able to host special food and drink events in addition to concerts. Popov says that they will make use of the two large store-front entrances, one on Shattuck and one on Durant, which allow the venue to have a separate entrance for both the music and restaurant areas. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley close to deal for long-empty Telegraph lot

Ken Sarachan, who owns multiple properties on Telegraph Avenue, bought 2501 Haste St. in 1994. The Berkeley Inn was located there until a fire destroyed it. The mural was recently removed. Photo: Ted Friedman
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UC Berkeley and property owner Ken Sarachan are close to a joint-venture development deal for the long-empty lot at the north-east corner of Haste and Telegraph, which means that new student housing might be in place there by August 2017.

“We are in negotiations, deep negotiations,” said Robert Lalanne, UC’s Vice-Chancellor for Real Estate. Lalanne said he would like to think they are getting very close to a deal.

The university would take over Sarachan’s entitlement of the proposed development for the site: a six-story Moorish, palace-like structure inspired by Italian hill towns, Tibetan forts and the rock-cut architecture of Petra in Jordan. The university would then turn over the project  to a developer, who would build the structure. Lalanne declined to name the developer as a contract had not been signed. … Continue reading »

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