With the architects (WRNS Studio) having eliminated the previously proposed fabric of screens/shutters to adorn the development’s façade, the refined plans for a contemporary 18-story building to rise up to 180 feet in height at 2190 Shattuck Avenue, at the intersection of Allston Way in the heart of Downtown Berkeley, have been granted a favorable recommendation from the city’s Design Review Committee.

And with a certified Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in hand, Mill Creek Residential’s plans for the Shattuck Terrace Green Apartments project could be approved by the City on Thursday.

The proposed development would yield 274 apartments over 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail space fronting the new BART Plaza and a basement garage for 103 cars. And in addition to the new ground floor retail space, into which the existing Walgreens on the site is expected, but not guaranteed, to return, the plans now include a 677 square-foot “community art space” adjacent to the building’s lobby and a storage room for 100 bikes with a built-in repair space for residents.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Robin

    Why only 100 bike spaces? They need that number to be at least 1-to-1 with the number of units, and preferably higher than that…

    • Posted by pablito

      Agreed. These will be people that own/ride bikes. It needs to be at least 1 to 1. We have car parking ratios written in the land use code – why not bike parking? It’s 2018 not 1980. The code should have been updated at least 18 years ago.. 🙂

    • Posted by Martin

      I prefer using bike share rather than my own bike to get around town because I don’t need to spend minutes finding a safe place and locking it and even then I stress about it getting stolen. Many will still own bikes just as many who will own cars, but I don’t think either needs a 1 to 1 ratio.

      Then again, i heard that Berkeley is highly against bike share, so your concern might have some merit.

      • Posted by EBGuy

        FWIW, there are 37 GoBike shared stations around Berkeley.

    • Posted by Alai

      One difference between bikes and cars is that bikes can fit inside apartments as well.

      • Posted by Pablito

        Sure. But it is a lot easier to leave a bike in a first floor bike room than take it up and down 18 floors on a crowded elevator….

  2. Posted by Notcom

    It’s looks – just a little bit (less rounded, less sculpted,…Hell, let’s just say less attractive) like a site of infamy. And just as vista obstructing as earlier plans.

    • Posted by archiwha?

      looks nothing like watergate and the site response couldn’t be more different.

      • Posted by Notcom

        I was thinking specifically of the ribbon windows, curvelinear facade and grouping of floors into 4-5 story units…but, yes, one person’s “little bit” is another’s “nothing”

    • Posted by pablito

      “vista obstructing” whose ‘vista’ is that? The Marie Antoinettes in the hills? Or the homeless students skipping meals and doubled up on friends couches in order to be able to afford rent when a unit does finally become available? Because that’s a real thing at Berkeley at the moment. The school has an offical program to address it.

      Berkeley needs both less obstruction and more housing.

      • Posted by EBGuy

        It’s the people’s vista! Several thousand students each day soak in the view of the Golden Gate from South Hall Road and along Campanile Way. I’d really like to see a compromise where the top six stories are removed so as not the protrude above the horizon line.

        • Posted by Mark

          Good grief. How about students soak in the views of their textbooks instead.

        • Posted by SFRealist

          Just when you think you’ve heard all the NIMBY reasons not to build housing, another one pops up. Congrats!

        • Posted by Pablito

          The people’s Vista? You have to be kidding. I’m on South Hall Road and along Campanile Way several times a week. No one would notice this.

          Sure, technically, this would block a tiny tiny 1% piece of view – but the existing trees and the campus buildings already block 100x more view. And if you really interested in the view, walk 100 feet north to Memorial Glade or walk up the 24 stairs to the base of the Campanile. Unrestricted view if the golden gate for miles.

          Not building much needed housing to protect the millionaires in the Hills vista of the horizon? That sort of land use ‘compromise’ doesn’t belong in Berkeley.

          • Posted by EBGuy

            I dispute the idea that no one would notice this. This building will pop up right in the middle of the GG bridge span. YMMV.

            The certified Final EIR included detailed topical responses to these comments. In summary, the project would partially block views of the Bay, Alcatraz Island, and the Golden Gate Bridge from various points at the base of the Campanile and along Campanile Way. Although the view would not be completely blocked from any viewpoint, obstruction would range from zero to approximately 75 percent of the view depending on the viewpoint location.

        • Posted by carlottavaldez

          The nominal part of anyone’s view blocked by this building from the distant uphill campus would be difficult to identify, let alone point out. What is “blocked” is a tiny piece of the gap between the Shattuck Hotel and the talker building at 2150 Shattuck: so inconsequential when seen from campus that it’s outright disrespectful to call that “the People’s view.”

        • Posted by Notcom

          Yes, that’s right, sometime in the future we may find a woman wandering the streets, crying out “my vista ! my Vista!!…has anyone seen my vista ??” Plus, it’s also the view OF the Campanile – and more generally the Campus – from the Bay; and remember, it’s not the only project pending, so the cumulative impact may be substantial (particularly as these serve as precedents for more and more intrusion). But whatever one may think of the argument(s), they didn’t just “pop up”.

          • Posted by pablito

            The view was of Golden Gate was considered sacred by a lot of people. Then they put the Golden Gate bridge up. 100,000 people a day drive across it every day and its an iconic symbol of the region.

            People sued to stop the Transamerica pyramid for defiling the skyline. Now they laud it as a masterpiece and 3,000 people work there every day. I is an icon of the City

            People sued to stop the De Young and the California Academy of Sciences from rebuilding in Golden Gate Park and ruining Frederick Law Olmsted’s grand design. Over a million people attend them now every year. They are an integral part of the park and its recreational mission.

            Times change. Opinions change.
            Cities – and the structures in them, exist to serve the people that live in them.

          • Posted by Notcom

            And when the Embarcadero Freeway was proposed people opposed it; they were told it would speed up travel and thousands of people would use it every day and “times change, we can’t be selfish over things like views of old buildings”…
            Is this the EF ?? No, but let’s be honest, it isn’t the GGB either.

          • Posted by Pablito

            Yeah. The EF was pretty fugly. Fun to drive on but not much to look at.
            This isn’t the GGB but I like a lot of the WRNS stuff.

  3. Posted by Hancock

    Well, here’s a text book case of value engineering! Floor to ceiling windows? Gone. Tons of balcony space? Gone. Oh, well. I was surprised that Berkeley was going to get such as sexy building. Now we know it was just a dream!

  4. Posted by PRE

    Ten times better than the earlier iteration.

  5. Posted by Frederick Hormann

    I’m all for building on this site. That said, the rendered building is hideous! The massing and detail is a disaster. It’s like a cruise ship on top of a different building base. Back to the drawing board please.

  6. Posted by Miraloma Man

    It seems like people in Berkeley favor buildings that look like they were designed by 18 different people who had no idea what the other 17 people were doing. Egad.

  7. Posted by Rick B

    This is great news, finally, but the Berkeley politico’s need to get their head out of the clouds and wake up and realize that much more housing needs to be approved – even in the politically esoteric province of Berkeley!

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