Compatible & Creative: Infill Housing in a Time of Need + Complementary Retail Shops

Transform an underutilized surface parking lot into 155 units of much-needed housing and an engaging pedestrian-oriented shopping street that extends the intimate character and quality of the existing Fourth Street shops.

  • Provide 155 apartment homes at a mix of sizes, 27 of which will be permanently affordable, with monthly rent starting under $900, to help maintain families and a diversity of incomes in West Berkeley. Residents will benefit from unique and diverse amenities including fitness center and various outdoor spaces.
  • Respect Fourth Street's scale at the central intersection to enhance the character of the existing district. Locate project massing to respond to the “urban edges” of the University Ave. overpass and the railroad tracks.
  • Integrate residential with retail and restaurants, contributing to the neighborhood feel and evolution of another Berkeley commercial district to call home, explore and stroll. Activate the street both during the nighttime and daytime with a mix of dining options.
  • Fulfill goals of the University Avenue Strategic Plan by providing an architecturally striking gateway to the City.
  • Fulfill goals of West Berkeley Plan and General Plan by providing for an economic and land use mix, channeling new development to appropriate districts, and assuring development is of a scale and design appropriate to its surroundings.

Sustainable Design & Lifestyle

  • Fulfill goals of Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan by providing housing oriented to alternative transportation including excellent bike access and amenities, bike share, car share, public transportation via bus and train and walkable to most services
  • Green building features and high-efficiency materials ensure building well exceeds California energy codes and achieve Build it Green® GreenPoint Rated certification.
  • Smart landscape irrigation controls, use of drought-tolerant plantings and water efficient fixtures and appliances reduce water usage.

Maker Hall” to Celebrate and Support Craft Retail in West Berkeley

  • Encourage the long history of craft retail in West Berkeley
  • "Affordable by design " retail spaces create small booths and studios where local vendors and craftspeople can produce and sell their products in a shared, lively, market-style environment
  • Interested vendors should contact Lauren: lseaver@blakegriggs.com

Transit-Supported, Walkable, Bikeable- Plus Plenty of Residential and Customer Parking

Amtrak rail stop, bike share, car share, transit passes: A multi-modal transport hub within the project

  • 345 total bike parking spaces [detailed bike plan]
    • Plentiful secure bike parking for residents (256 standard size spaces, 3 cargo bike spaces), bike repair room and available loaner bikes for residents
    • Secure bike parking spaces for retail employees (60 spaces)
    • Ample new public on-street bike parking (26 spaces including a bicycle corral)
  • Adjacent AC Transit and Amtrak stops provide easy access to downtown Berkeley, BART and other destinations.  Residents will benefit from a free AC transit pass provided per unit
  • 20-minute walk to North Berkeley BART. Easily walkable to services, grocery, and other destinations.
  • Spaces available for car share and/or scooter sharing services in commercial garage for residents and the public, which reduces demand for car ownership.
  • TransitScreen technology shows residents live data on alternative transportation options
  • Parking for all of Fourth Street: Ample parking to satisfy retail demand (214 spaces) includes 141 stalls in excess of City requirement.
  • Residents would not be eligible for Berkeley on-street Residential Parking Permits.
  • Spaces available for electric car parking and charging stations on-site. 

Vibrant, Walkable Outdoor Spaces and Public Art

  • Continue a walkable quality shopping experience with open-air dining plazas and landscaped paseo walkways.
  • Provide robust and creative public artwork with a focal point of sculpture in the paseo area to anchor the outdoor gathering place. Public art selection will be advised by Renee Bott, a Fourth St. gallery owner and Chandra Cerritto Art Advisors, a Bay Area firm with preference given for Berkeley artists.
  • Activate sidewalks and streets with pedestrians, residents, visitors, businesses and services and bring eyes-on-the-street to enhance safety and make Fourth Street more inviting at all hours.
  • Extend connectivity between the Fourth Street shops and businesses South of University and the freeway overpass with the existing retail to the north of Hearst Street.

Improve the Public Transit Experience for Amtrak and AC Transit Passengers with no Berkeley Station

  • Provide a safer and more pleasant experience through more active, well-lit streets, sidewalk improvements, and close proximity to retail and dining amenities.
  • Commuters and travelers on Amtrak currently wait and arrive in Berkeley under a freeway overpass where there is no station, shelter or staff. This is the first entrance to the City for many. The same is true for AC Transit stops that surround the freeway underpass. All passengers departing from and arriving to a more hospitable, active environment can take greater comfort and convenience in the adjacency to shops and more people on the streets, making these sustainable and community-oriented transportation options more useable and attractive - essentially, improving access.