By Gill South
Artist Leigh Wells still hasn’t gotten accustomed to the constant noise from the trains that run right behind her West Berkeley live-work space. And she tries not to think about the toxic emissions from the neighboring steel manufacturing plant. In fact, if it weren’t for the affordable rent, and the close-knit artist community at the 1450 Fourth St. complex, she’d never dream of living there.
More than 1,400 housing units are currently in development in downtown Berkeley, with demolition on one of the first in the pipeline scheduled to begin this week.
The view from the L-shaped deck off the penthouse apartment at 2055 Center St. is spectacular. One side looks west toward San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Another side offers a sweeping vista of Berkeley’s downtown and hills.
The Arpeggio Building at 2055 Center Street, which was once envisioned as gleaming tower of pricy condos, has been sold to a real estate group that plans to open it as apartments in late September.
On Tuesday, downtown Berkeley was born anew. Billed as a fresh start, the heart of the city was relaunched to a capacity crowd in the ballroom of the Hotel Shattuck Plaza on Allston Way.
Update, 6.10 pm: Make that seven years! The City of Berkeley checked again on the dates and reports in to us that Center Street was closed to one-way traffic when Berkeley City College was being constructed, in approximately March 2004. The Arpeggio project has had the street closed since June 2006 — first for the demolition of the previous building on the site in 2006, then for construction which began in 2008.
Berkeleyside recently sent all the candidates for the City Council a set of questions, partly based on the suggestions our readers provided. Candidates are running in Districts 1, 4, 7 and 8.