The property has hosted everything from a mattress store to an overflowing artist warehouse. Now, as its owners prepare to sell the site, its future is in question.
It's one year late in opening and there are still a few missing elements, but finally construction crews have left and the new plaza has been unveiled. The relief was palpable at the grand opening celebration.
The renovated plaza will have café tables and chairs, new trees, a sculpture, a sound installation, and a stage for the dozen of live performances planned each month.
The new BART Plaza will now open even later than expected.
The project is almost a year behind schedule. The heavy rains in 2016-17 caused about 50 rain days. A dispute between the general contractor and some subs has also slowed progress.
The BART Rotunda that stood sentinel in Berkeley for more than 40 years is being torn down to make way for a new entrance to the station.
Patrons using the Downtown Berkeley BART station will have to use another entrance for six to seven months.
Over the next six months, there will be changes to how patrons access BART as the refurbishment of the BART Plaza continues.
When construction is completed in September 2017 Berkeley will have a BART plaza with a more open layout, better lighting, a signature glass awning, new bus stops, and places for special events.
The BART Board of Directors this morning unanimously approved the contract to start construction of the Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza and Transit Area Improvement Project. The project will replace the current rotunda with a new glazed entrance to the BART station, and change the sea of red bricks that dominate the current plaza design.
Note: An update about this incident appears toward the bottom of this article.
Downtown Berkeley will host a new bar crawl called CupidCon on Saturday afternoon for Valentine's Day.