Fifteen minutes’ walk from the Berkeley Bowl, with two vivid red, orange and blue stained-glass windows and at least two friendly neighbors, 6300 Shattuck Ave., Unit Two, goes on the market Saturday for $865,000.
The two-bedroom, two-bath Oakland condo is the last available unit of six in a converted Methodist church, a historic landmark built in the early 1900s. It’s located in Bushrod, described by Redfin in January as the No. One hottest neighborhood in the country. The building has a Walk Score of 90 and a bike score of 100, with bike racks and an EV charger in the gated garage.
After knocking somewhat loudly on the front door, this reporter was admitted on a recent afternoon by an unruffled and affable resident still in his PJs. In Unit Two, the afternoon sun was streaming through a west-facing window fronting the street, though the light had yet to reach the stained-glass windows inscribed “Sarah Russell” and “M. Himmer.”
“I think he was the minister,” said Sharon Ho of Pacific Union, one of the listing agents for the property, of “M. Himmer.” She said she had looked up the church in Ancestry.com.
“The windows were retained as an homage to the original building,” said real-estate agent Jeffrey Neidleman of Pacific Union, who is co-listing the home along with Ho. The green exterior with its white accents around the windows and doors still looks like the Methodist church of yore.
Inside the approximately 1,624-square-foot condo, it’s immediately apparent that this is not your father’s Oldsmobile, or your parents’ tract house, either. The unit is on two levels, with the entry and living area on the ground level functioning like an atrium, with a ceiling that reaches the second floor. A flight of beige-carpeted stairs leads upstairs.
The ground floor is designed in an open-floor concept, with no separation between the rooms. It’s long and narrow, with a gleaming up-to-the-minute kitchen, complete with French-door refrigerator. A sizable island flanks the kitchen. At the end of the room is a large west-facing window and space for a dining room table on the right and a couch on the left.
The island is butcher-block, the countertops are stone, the floor is engineered hardwood.
Though it’s not immediately apparent, a sharp left turn at the island takes the visitor into a bedroom. There’s also a bathroom on the ground floor, with an old-fashioned clawfoot tub equipped with a modern shower fixture.
Clearly Oakland-based builder BuildZig (tagline: “We empower those who dream it to build it, challenging sacred cows and outdated methods in the industry”) had a ball with the more-than-100-year-old building. The company did the renovation with creative design input from Gunkel Architecture of Berkeley.
As part of the redo, solar panels, new, higher-grade insulation, new double-paned windows and LED lighting and all-new plumbing and wiring were installed, Neidleman said. The renovation was completed this spring. The building is completely up to the 2013 Title 24 building code standards. “The building is updated to today’s energy efficiency codes,” Ho said. “There’s instant hot water.”
It’s also clear that the builders faced some challenges. Up the beige-carpeted stairs is an approximately 12-foot by 8-foot area that looks down on the ground-level space below, affording a nice view of the premises but not big enough for more than perhaps a modest-sized couch.
A sharp left turn leads to the master bedroom. During the reporter’s visit, Friendly Neighbor No. 2 made his appearance, complete with a devastatingly cute baby. Friendly Neighbor was accessed by opening a bedroom door to reveal an outdoor area with stairs.
“Hello,” the neighbor said, seemingly unsurprised by the sudden appearance of a reporter in the empty unit. Further discussion revealed that he lived next door, not in the converted church.
In addition to the outdoor access, the master bedroom has cathedral ceilings and a master bath with a glassed-in shower
Returning from the bedroom, the beige-carpeted hall continues into a somewhat inchoate space described by Ho as “a large plus space that could be custom-fitted to work as a retreat yoga/workout space, a home office or your dream master closet.”
Said Ho: “The condo is known as the Sanctuary. The concept behind the upstairs is it’s just your own little cocoon up there.”
Open houses will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7 and 8 and Oct. 14 and 15 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call Sharon Ho at 415)-680-6852 or Jeffrey Neidleman at 510-435-0325, Senior Sales Associates, Pacific Union Real Estate, or visit the 6300ShattuckAveCondo website.