New renderings and details for Ken Sarachan’s proposed “El Jardin” development, the six-story Moorish fortress designed to rise on the long vacant Berkeley lot at the corner of Haste and Telegraph Avenue, have just been delivered to Berkeley’s Design Review Committee (DRC).

And with Berkeley’s Planning Department recommending that the DRC “forward a favorable recommendation…with conditions as necessary” for the project to Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) this week, El Jardin would appear to be a step closer to becoming reality.

Once again, the proposed project, with a faux-cliff façade from the lower level up through the third floor and recessed entrances and storefront windows, consists of five floors of residential units over two floors of commercial space, with a proposed 21,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor and 16,000 square feet of flexible space below.

Last year, Mr. Sarachan reached a settlement with the City of Berkeley to move forward with plans to develop the long-vacant corner lot, which is adjacent to Sarachan’s Rasputin Records, or risk a forfeiture of the land.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by enzo

    Doesn’t fit the context. Needs more barrel vault rainbows.

    • Posted by Wai Yip Tung

      I know. Gaudi would be criticized the same way as they don’t fit the context either.

  2. Posted by Flash

    My assumption is still that he has no intention of ever building this and is just toying with the city in order to get it bogged down in the planning process and avoid the forfeiture without having to do much work. BUT, I really hope I am wrong and that this does get built.

  3. Posted by cody

    Well, it is Berkely. I think enzo is right on and that this will never be built.

  4. Posted by GregP

    I appreciate that architects add people and trees and such goodies to their renderings to make them more realistic seeming, but in this case I don’t think the architect intentionally added the local Berkeley charm in the second rendering showing the two police cars and the handcuffed guy in the foreground… or maybe that’s just one more way in which the architect is choosing to be “bold”.

    • Posted by emanon

      I’m not seeing anyone in handcuffs. Maybe your perception of “local Berkeley charm” has prejudiced your vision?

  5. Posted by djt

    This whole project is like a performance art piece where the actors are the zoning board and the owner. This won’t be built, nor will anything be built. The owner is waiting for other people to improve telegraph avenue so he can sell the land to a developer.

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