New developer eyes controversial Berkeley web page for university student housing

2065 Kittredge St
Developer CA Ventures submitted a preliminary rendering of the eight-tale student housing undertaking it needs to make at 2065 Kittredge St. The block was after eyed for a controversial 18-story growth that fell via in early 2020. Credit history: Niles Bolton Associates

A new firm has set its sights on the downtown Berkeley block that was when the centre of one particular of the city’s fiercest improvement battles.

Chicago-primarily based developer CA Ventures is wanting to establish an eight-story, 189-device “off-campus pupil housing community” at 2065 Kittredge St., according to a preliminary software the company submitted to the town in July.

That property — improved acknowledged as 2211 Harold Way, one of its affiliated addresses — was at just one position slated to be the web page of the 18-story, 302-unit higher-increase recognised as Berkeley Plaza. The $150 million combined-use proposal was the subject matter of more than a few-dozen town meetings, as well as an unsuccessful court docket challenge from its opponents, prior to developer Hill Avenue Realty unexpectedly scuttled the task in early 2020, stating it had developed much too highly-priced.

Hill Avenue Realty sold the house to CA Scholar Living Berkeley LLC in March for $20 million, according to the Bay Region News Group.

CA Ventures’ proposal for the web page, which the developer is also calling Berkeley Plaza, would be entirely household, with a whole of 583 bedrooms in units that assortment from studios to three bedrooms. Eleven of the models would be regarded incredibly low earnings, for renters who make a lot less than half the location median revenue.

The building would include a 42-room underground parking garage, 114 spaces of bicycle parking, a roof terrace and nearly 10,000 square toes of indoor amenity locations for people.

The firm’s plans simply call for demolishing the present Postal Annex making together Harold Way, involving Allston Way and Kittredge Avenue, leaving intact the part of the block together Shattuck Avenue, together with the historic Shattuck Hotel.

The application, which was initially documented by San Francisco Small business Moments, does not record a price estimate for the undertaking. CA Ventures did not answer to a request for far more data about its options.

Whether this more compact Berkeley Plaza proposal will come upon the exact impassioned opposition Hill Avenue Realty’s 18-tale approach sparked remains to be noticed.

To supporters, the earlier challenge — a dense higher-rise bringing hundreds of new models to an underused block in the heart of downtown — was specifically the sort of improvement the Bay Location desperately essential more of amid a worsening housing crisis. But opponents slammed the proposal for its top and absence of economical units, and reported city officials must have exacted a more generous group advantages bundle from its developer the venture would have contributed $10.5 million to the city’s Housing Have confidence in Fund, among the other expenses.

The significant-increase would have been 1 of a few new 180-foot tall properties approved below Berkeley’s 2012 Downtown System. To date, only 1 of those people assignments, a 16-tale hotel at Shattuck and Centre, has broken ground. One more, at 2190 Shattuck just throughout Allston Way from the Berkeley Plaza web-site, obtained Metropolis Council approval in early 2019.

Another question mark for CA Ventures’ proposal is how it may well influence Landmark Shattuck Cinemas, the movie theater that became 1 of the previous project’s greatest stumbling blocks. The Berkeley Town Council’s 2015 approval of the Hill Road Realty proposal essential the developer to rebuild the theater, which a agent for the business stated additional $15 million to $20 million to the project’s price tag.

CA Ventures submitted its software beneath the 2019 point out housing regulation SB 330, which streamlines the allowing process and restricts cities’ talents to block or scale back again selected housing projects.

The Section of Planning and Development’s Land Use Division is now reviewing the project, senior planner Sharon Gong reported in an e-mail, and it will inevitably go right before Berkeley’s Zoning Changes Board.

One player from the earlier Harold Way saga will not be involved in conversations this time about: Habitot, the children’s museum that extensive known as the Postal Annex building home, moved out of its basement place late very last yr after closing at the start of the pandemic.

“That modest area, with no fresh air and no out of doors place, was really not going to be a sustainable reopening area immediately after the pandemic waned,” Habitot government director Gina Moreland claimed.

The museum experienced been eyeing a shift for many years, since the earlier Berkeley Plaza proposal would have pressured it to relocate. Hill Street Realty experienced agreed to give Habitot $250,000 to help spend for the relocation, but that funds under no circumstances materialized simply because the challenge fizzled out.

“The creating has been on the wall for 10 several years for us in that constructing,” Moreland said.

Issues have developed far more complex for Habitot considering the fact that the pandemic took keep, as its plan to transfer to a new South Berkeley place fell by way of. For now, Moreland claimed the museum is holding pop-up gatherings about Berkeley and presenting digital programming, when a fundraising marketing campaign for the relocation — and the search for a new home — carries on.

“We are wanting for alternatives everywhere,” she mentioned.