There’s a groundbreaking Thursday, March 26, for a mixed-use development at Shattuck and Dwight. Image: Christiani Johnson Architects
There’s a groundbreaking Thursday, March 26, for a mixed-use development at Shattuck and Dwight. Image: Christiani Johnson Architects

A 99-unit, 6-story building planned in downtown Berkeley is kicking off construction in earnest with a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Demolition began last summer at 2121 Dwight Way, at Shattuck Avenue. Since then, the project has changed hands and promises a wide range of amenities to renters, such as high-quality kitchens, pet-friendly features, shuffleboard and “the latest Wi-Fi technology” in a communal lounge. There’s also 5,100 square feet of ground floor retail space “suited for a café and neighborhood-serving specialties.”

San Carlos-based Olympic Residential Group bought the property — where furniture shop Modernaire used to be located — in February. (Modernaire moved to 1621 San Pablo Ave.) The project is scheduled to be complete by summer 2016.

Read more about real estate in Berkeley.

Olympic described the units as “Class-A luxury apartment homes,” and said in a statement released Wednesday the project, set to reach 63 feet in height, is aimed at “an eclectic mix of young professionals attracted to the transit-oriented location, empty nesters, University faculty, and UC Berkeley students looking for a high quality housing option near the campus.” 

According to a 2012 Berkeley zoning board report, the project is also set to include a garage with 45 parking spaces: 36 for residents and nine for the commercial space. There are also 28 bike parking spaces included in the plans. According to the developer, the “transit-oriented development will include environmentally-friendly electric vehicle charging stations and car share parking spaces for resident and public use.”

Nine below-market-rate units are also set to be included, according to the zoning board report.

The units are slated to include a mix of studios, one bedrooms and two bedrooms ranging in size from 500 to approximately 1,100 square feet.

The landscaping plan for 2121 Dwight Way. Image: Christiani Johnson Architects
The landscaping plan for 2121 Dwight Way. Image: Christiani Johnson Architects

According to Wednesday’s statement from the developer: “The apartments include features such as high quality kitchens that include European-style cabinets, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and full-size front-load washer-dryers. The units also include expansive floor to ceiling windows, nine-foot ceilings, eight-foot doors, hard-surface floors throughout, and air conditioning.”

Olympic plans to pursue LEED Gold certification for the Christiani Johnson Architects-designed building.

As for the project’s amenities, which Olympic describes as “unparalleled in the Berkeley submarket,” they are set to feature “a 3,875-square-foot roof deck with panoramic views of San Francisco, outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchen, gas grills, and spacious seating. There is a podium-level communal room that is designed to host small gatherings and opens up to a large landscaped courtyard, featuring a fountain and outdoor seating. The ground floor lounge provides a community gathering space that includes game tables, shuffleboard, high definition television and the latest Wi-Fi technology. The pet-friendly development will have outdoor spaces for resident pet enjoyment, including a dog washing station.”

Olympic was founded in 2012 by Dan Deibel, a Bay Area multifamily development veteran who formerly ran Palo Alto-based Urban Housing Group.

The project’s groundbreaking is scheduled for Thursday, March 26, at 2:30 p.m.

Update, 4:20 p.m. Local writer and photographer Ted Friedman attended the groundbreaking ceremony at Berkeleyside’s request. He shared the following photographs of the event.

From left: Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates; architect Richard Christiani; Dan Deibel, president of Olympic Residential Group; and Downtown Berkeley Association CEO John Caner. Caner called the area “the gateway to downtown.” Photo: Ted Friedman
Construction equipment at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony for 2121 Dwight Way. Completion is expected within 18 months, according to project reps. Photo: Ted Friedman
Mayor Tom Bates, left, said at the groundbreaking, “It is a great day for us, and a great project for Berkeley.” Photo: Ted Friedman

Construction to begin on 6-story development (07.11.14)
‘Explosive’ downtown Berkeley housing boom under way (01.14.14)
1,000 new apartments planned for downtown Berkeley (02.07.13)

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...