Spirit Residential is planning to build 91 new apartments over an underground parking garage on San Pablo Avenue just south of Addison Street in West Berkeley.
A U-Haul rental outlet used to operate there but is no longer in business, according to a U-Haul rep reached by phone.
“The project will include demolition of two small existing buildings previously used as a U-Haul truck rental facility, which was forced to close after extensive City of Berkeley enforcement actions due to neighborhood impacts,” according to project materials.
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The 5-story 2100 San Pablo Ave. project — just south of the Mi Tierra Foods market on Addison — was submitted to the city Feb. 16 by Mark Rhoades, who is representing San Anselmo-based Spirit Residential.
Four ground-floor live-work units and three retail and café spaces, which could be combined into one, will have four stories of apartments overhead. Rhoades said the project is unique for how far it is slated to be set back from nearby neighbors, from 40 to 60 feet away in most areas. The setback is often an area of contention during the permitting process.
Rhoades said the project has not yet been scheduled before the Zoning Adjustments Board. The design review process will come next. A neighborhood advisory group is in the nascent stages.
“The project is designed with the primary goal of respecting and honoring adjacent residential neighbors, while strengthening the character of the San Pablo street frontage and providing much needed housing,” according to the applicant statement.
The unit mix is set to include 17 studios, 35 one-bedrooms, 26 two-bedrooms and two three-bedrooms, and 11 “townhome style” one-bedroom units on the ground floor “facing adjacent residential neighbors and separated by a large courtyard.”
“The project will include 8 affordable apartments at 50% of Area Median Income,” according to the applicant statement. “As such, the project is entitled to a State Density Bonus, which provides additional housing on the project’s fifth floor.”
Initially, the units are set to be available for rent but could eventually be converted into condominiums.
There are currently slated to be 65 parking spaces underground for residents, as well as 21 spots for for the retail and live-work uses. Stacked parking lifts will be used for 48 of the below-grade parking spaces. One hundred secure bike parking spots are also planned in the garage, in addition to 12 sidewalk spots.
The applicant has offered to provide an AC Transit pass to each apartment, which is not required by the city code.
According to the statement, “The project will use green building features including solar photovoltaic panels and flow-through planters. These elements, as well as the provision of transit-oriented housing, will help the City of Berkeley to meet Climate Action Plan goals.”
By putting the parking underground, the property owner is aiming for “an active and robustly landscaped ground level that aligns with our neighbors and creates a block pattern of adjoining yards, rather than creating a concrete parking podium or ‘back of house’ commercial operations as a neighbor to adjacent residences.”
According to an environmental assessment already completed, the project team will need to make a plan for how to deal with finding a safe way to haul off contaminated soil from two leaking storage tanks containing gasoline and motor oil that used to be on the property prior in 1996.
Stay tuned to Berkeleyside to learn about more new projects that have been submitted to the city for approval. Read the full applicant statement. See more project materials on the city website. Read more from Berkeleyside’s real estate section.
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