2211 Harold Way Rendering

With Berkeley’s Measure R having been soundly defeated at the ballot box, a measure which would have required tall buildings to have met higher environmental building standards (LEED Platinum versus LEED Gold as is currently required), the plans for the proposed 18-story “Residences at Berkeley Plaza” development to rise behind the Shattuck Hotel are back on track and could be approved early next year.

In addition to 302 apartments, the Berkeley Plaza development includes a six-theater cinema, 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and a 171-space underground parking garage at 2211 Harold Way.

A 9,000 square foot public plaza would be constructed mid-block between the new residences and the Shattuck Hotel.  A couple of additions to the hotel would need to be razed along with the Hink’s Building (Postal Annex) at Harold and Allston in order to make way for the new development.

The public comment period for the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) ends next week, the Planning Department’s response to the comments are expected to be published in early January, and Berkeley’s Zoning Adjustments Board is scheduled to hold its public hearing on the certification of the EIR and the project’s Use Permit on January 22.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Dave

    Interesting design. Better than most of the equivalent sized projects in SF.

  2. Posted by Anonandon

    Agree, very attractive compared to some of the projects going up in “the city”. And they even get parking!

  3. Posted by Mark

    Does the plan include security to deal with the aggressive panhandling in the new plaza? Otherwise an okay design and a lot better than most of the stuff going up in SF. Does the area really need a 6-screen cinema?

    @Anonandon: I’m hoping a good chunk of the parking is reserved for the commercial space given that the building is half a block from the BART station.

    • Posted by Alai

      I don’t see how that follows. Workers and customers can use Bart as much as residents can. If they’re going to build it, they may as well use it for whoever needs it more.

  4. Posted by soccermom

    I loved this storyline in _Parenthood_ (what was it, season 3?) The developer was so crass and money-hungry. Also it’s the only depiction I know that East Bay arts-and-crafts homes have ever been portrayed so lovingly on the screen.

    (Every day I wake up and think about how to achieve narrow-audience comedy.)

    • Posted by invented

      Parenthood’s setting is more bucolic, verdant and spacious than frumpy Berkeley — more like Brothers and Sisters ‘s Pasadena setting. The need for new housing options in Berkeley is intense — many homeowners want to downsize yet want to stay local. Build highest quality housing and watch what happens.

  5. Posted by Mark F.

    I think the new Cinema would replace the current Landmark Cinema.

  6. Posted by Mark F.

    Berkeley needs many more developments like this. It is one of the best places to live in the Bay Area, especially if you are near UC and Bart.

    • Posted by frog

      The biggest problem with being young and using BART is that there’s no easy way to get home after midnight on a weekend. A development (or 10) like this would be amazing if BART ran hourly all night. I’d almost say that that’s the difference between a suburban neighbor and an extended city – the availability of good late night transit!

      • Posted by Alai

        Well, there’s always the 800!

        • Posted by frog

          I know you are kinda joking. But just to be clear, I’d rather swim across the bay.

          • Posted by Alai

            I’m not joking. I took it a number of times. The worst part was standing on a deserted corner for 15 minutes at 3AM. Also, the uncertainty of being at an unfamiliar stop. But would standing on a deserted Bart platform be that much better?

            In any case, it serves its purpose well enough.

      • Posted by Spencer

        does being able to get pub transport after midnight really dictate peoples living choices?

        • Posted by Fishchum

          It can. I can tell you it’s one of the main reasons I wouldn’t move to the East Bay.

        • Posted by Anon

          And people wonder why most of the Bay Area uses an automobile. (Which also explains why this project has generous parking included)

        • Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

          Better yet just live within walking distance to a pub or three. The concept of having a “local” is lost on many Americans with daily tragedy. Many urban dwellers get it though.

          Plenty of local hangouts around here. You’d find me at Jupiter.

          • Posted by Anon

            hahahha. “Stupider” ? that place is for 20 year olds

        • Posted by frog

          Absolutely. Restaurant and other service industry people are entirely dependent on transportation, frequently during hours that BART doesn’t run. I used to drive to work in Berkeley because if I worked late, I’d miss the last train out and this was before Uber. So the train schedule made it unusable to me. In my case we moved the company to SF. But most people don’t have that as an option.

        • Posted by don

          Yes. just as in the early days of the industrial revolution, worker housing had to be within walking distance of factories – without transit, young barhopper/clubber housing needs to be close to the clubs and bars. I spent my entire 20’s and 30’s living within a mile and a half everyplace I could ever find myself blurry and high at 4AM.

  7. Posted by EBGuy

    SS said: A 9,000 square foot public plaza would be constructed mid-block between the new residences and the Shattuck Hotel.
    This is no longer the case; the public plaza has been moved to the corner of Kittredge and Harold Way (as seen in the rendering above; although even that rendering has been superseded by a newer design).

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