Bright and early on Sunday morning an old Berkeley house was heaved onto a flat-bed truck for a half-mile trip through city streets.
The journey of the 1901 clapboard home, which began at 2121 Durant Ave., drew small crowds of onlookers as it was pulled slowly through downtown to its new resting place at 1940 Haste St.
There was only one hitch — causing a delay of about 30 minutes and a short power outage for immediate neighbors — when crews had to adjust overhead power lines to allow the property to pass through the intersection at Milvia and Haste.
The home is being relocated so that new housing can be built at 2121 Durant and an adjacent surface parking lot on Bancroft Way. The development, which was approved with minimal opposition by the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board in March 2014, will comprise a 6-story mixed-use building with 50 units and ground-floor retail designed by Berkeley architects Studio KDA (formerly Kahn Design Associates).
The project site, which sits mid-block between Shattuck Avenue and Fulton Street, with Bancroft to the north and Durant to the south, is set to include 413 square feet of ground-floor retail and garage parking for 50 bikes and 13 vehicles. The unit will have 10 studios, 30 one-bedroom units, two two-bedrooms and 18 three-bedrooms, according to the city. Five of the apartments will be below-market-rate units.
On Haste, the 1901 building will be put on the front of the parcel, and a new 3-story two-unit building will be constructed at the rear, to include a ground-level garage for seven vehicles.
Work to prepare the property for transportation began around 6 a.m. Sunday, according to Berkeleyside contributing photographer Ted Friedman who was on scene to document the move, and the house got underway around 7 a.m. The home, which is owned by Vero Properties, was in place by 10:30 a.m. Several friends and members of the Lakireddy family, owners of Vero, got up early to witness the spectacle.
Downtown residents could be becoming accustomed to old houses trundling past their front windows on weekend mornings. Last month another 1901 home, a brown-shingle duplex that had sat on Berkeley Way for 116 years, was transported about eight blocks to a narrow lot at 2214 MLK, right across the street from Berkeley High. That home, along with a second brown-shingle, are being saved but need to be moved to make way for the 205-unit Acheson Way housing complex that will be located on University and Shattuck avenues.