Revised 2129 Shattuck Design

The revised plans for a less-bulky, 18-story building that’s proposed to rise in Downtown Berkeley were presented to the community last night.

As proposed, the 2129 Shattuck development, which would raze the existing Bank of America building on the site, includes a replacement Bank of America and 8,000-square-feet of restaurant and café space on the ground floor; a 92-car garage on the second floor; a 280-room hotel with conference facilities on floors 3-12; and between 35 and 45 condos across the top six floors of the 330,000-square-foot building.

From a plugged-in reader who attended last night’s meeting:

“This is not a regular tourist hotel – instead, it is an extended stay hotel with [300-square-foot] microunits designed for people staying for a month or semester (most likely customers being visiting faculty or researchers).”

And from the development team, which now includes the Pyramid Hotel Group:

“2129 Shattuck will transform Berkeley’s most prominent corner at Shattuck and Center Street into a mixed-use high-rise hotel that has been a long-held policy priority and will confer countless community benefits. The project will replace the suburban-style Berkeley main-branch Bank of America with an 18-story architectural presentation that reflects Berkeley’s spirit and culture.”

“The project’s high intensity will reinforce downtown Berkeley as a sustainable transit-oriented urban center, where relatively minor car use is expected from residents, employees and visitors.”

The project team is planning to formally submit its revised application for the project this month or next, with hopes of having approvals in hand by the end of the year.

31 thoughts on “Revised Designs And Timing For 18-Story Berkeley High-Rise”
  1. So whatever happened to the lovely idea of how one might just gaze from any vantage at & around this incredibly special tiny little bay — and see our beautiful vistas — because NOTHING UGLY AND UNNEEDED BLOCKED THE EFFIN’ VIEW.

    My opinion comes with 500 bicycle parking spaces and 200 sq ft of multi-purpose open space.

    1. I hate to sound like a NIMBY, but I agree. Not everything should be preserved, and we need density… but the Berkeley campus is a beautiful oasis; with this building all I can picture are the views that will be blocked, and its overall visual instrusiveness, from viewpoints as diverse as Giannini Hall to the Campanile.

      1. Views from a few locations might change minimally, but because the campus has mature trees, the views from the vast majority of locations on campus will remain the same — particularly for those standing on the ground. Also, as you go east on campus, you go up hill, placing your view line above the project anyway. Also, I think there is always this sense that the campus is a park-like environment set within a city, so a modest presentation of real urban development might be expected.

        tangential – this sort of urban/park juxtaposition is one reason I’ve always thought having 6-7 floor residential buildings along Lincoln and Fulton in San Francisco makes sense. GGP is a half mile wide, it can stand up to taller buildings (also, their top floors would have great views).

        1. To be clear – I think the view of high-rises in NYC along Central Park South or Central Park West, from within Central Park, can be stunning. The view of the Dakota is, of course, downright iconic.

          But because it can look good in that setting doesn’t mean it can, or should, be done everywhere. And even though the Cal campus is on a hill, an 18-story buildling will stand out like a sore thumb – even once your sight line is above its parapet.

          1. Yeah, we can’t be blocking that 12 story building across the street! Or the other tall building next to it! This is obscene, typical Corporate America destroying America for the real Americans.

        2. The best unobstructed view @ Berkeley belongs to…Unit III Dorms, Ida Sproul Hall. Ida Sproul forever!!!

          I miss Cafe Intermezzo and its giant salads since a fire destroyed the building? Any idea when it would reopen or suggestions for the alternative?

    2. I live right next door to the B of A in a 5-story apartment. We will be eclipsed by this project, likely looking out the window at exterior walls and hearing incessant car noise from the car ramp to be placed directly beneath our windows. So… talk about a blocked view! I think our building will no longer receive sunlight.

      1. You and your neighbors in the building (or maybe only the ones on the south side?) should pool your money, buy the BofA building, and turn it into a private park!

      2. So, you live literally in the heart of a city of 110,000 people with a major university near a major transit hub in a significant commercial center….and you expect bucolic charm?

  2. Berkeley needs something like this. The hotel and living situation for visiting researchers is atrocious compared to other universities.

  3. The whole Shattuck and University Blvd. area needs to razed and rebuilt. There are abandoned Indian restaurants and other boarded up businesses around there. It looked like crap in the late eighties and early nineties and it looks like crap now. Rent control hasn’t done any favors for Berkeley either. Most of the professors live in nearby Berkeley Hills or Kensington neighborhoods. At least one Physical Anthropology professor (Vincent Sarich) lived in Albany during the early nineties. I never thought about where the visiting researchers lived back then. International House maybe? Clark Kerr campus? Or any place with non-sticky and dirty surfaces.

      1. And there are plenty of jewels in the rough that if renovated and restored would offer architectural quality and detailing that is largely missing in modern construction. Even if I agree that there is also a need for new mid rise (and, gasp) high rise construction.

        “Razing the whole University and Shattuck Blvd. area” is just silly, silly hyperbole.

  4. Berkeley the most uninspiring city in the Bay Area. Boring architecture. Though it really doesn’t matter. The only people that visit downtown are the college kids and bums.

      1. His statement was truly one of the most inane statements to appear on this website. As someone who uses SFO in his name, he has probably never even crossed the Bay Bridge.

        How many greystones are built in seismically active San Francisco, anyway?

  5. Its not clear to me that this is even a hotel at all as the “rooms” are dwelling units. Is the hotel tax collected on someone staying a month or longer?

  6. First of all, the city of Berkeley does not owe good views to the UC campus. Improved views from campus do nothing to improve property values and tax revenue. Secondly, consider the view from campus into this direction. It is already significantly blocked by the other two moderate high rises in downtown. This building adds to the density, but I don’t see it significantly impacting the views from campus. Finally, as much as I actually like the old BofA building, and prefer downtown to remain relatively low-rise, Berkeley is a small city with much bigger city problems than most towns its size. A good downtown hotel is a good idea for Berkeley, as is higher downtown densities. I don’t know that that solves many problems of the downtown, but it is in the relatively right direction…

    1. Purely to irritate one persistent commenter who keeps posting the same inane comment on every post which DOES involve the East Bay.

      I imagine if SocketSite covered a major new office project downtown (or the new Brooklyn project on the waterfront), which it has, Matt in Uptown would immediately respond that “Socket Site did not cover the cute new taco truck which appeared on a residential block in West Oakland.”

      1. Actually, though, Matt does have a point. Socketsite doesn’t say much about developments in Oakland. It doesn’t say much about those in Berkeley, for that matter. There have been more postings about the Peninsula and Emeryville. On the other hand, Socketsite’s editors don’t necessarily have marching orders to cover *everything*, do they?

          1. But that cute cupcake shop in Allendale? Not a word about it! They even painted the building in bright colors!

  7. The problem with posting more about Oakland development is that it would largely consist of “here’s a pretty rendering; still not under construction.” Repeat annually.

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