The proposed house for 2707 Rose St. in Berkeley. Photo: MLS


Some may remember the long-running saga of 2707 Rose St. in North Berkeley. Lotus founder Mitch Kapor and his wife Freida Kapor bought a home there in 2008, with a view to tearing it down and putting up a large, modern house with a 10-car garage. Berkeley approved the Kapors’ plans, drafted by Marcy Wong Donn Logan Architects, in 2010. The house would have been one of the largest in the city. The immediate neighbors, with whom Kapor consulted, were content, not least as he promised to repave the gnarly, potholed stretch of Rose Street on which they all lived. Others in the community were not so happy and lawsuits ensued. Last June, the property was listed for sale at $1.5 million. In October that price dropped to $995,000. What’s up for grabs? A 29,747 sq ft lot with bay views and approved plans for a 6,500-square-foot home with 3,400 square feet of underground parking. “If smaller project is desired, plans may be modified for likely “over the counter” rapid processing,” reads the listing. Aside from founding Lotus, Mitch Kapor is also a venture capitalist — he was an early angel investor in Uber — and philanthropist. The Kapors are behind Oakland-based initiatives such as the Level Playing Field Institute and Kapor Center for Social Impact. Read more on the saga that was 2707 Rose Street.


A solar-powered Source water collection system installed on a roof collects water for consumption. Photo: Zero Mass Water

Heard about the latest water craze? A few people believe the tap water we drink is bad for us — an argument disputed by many others who remind us that contaminated water can transmit diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. The “believers,” however, are tracking down untreated water to consume. Except it is being called “raw water” or “live water,” presumably because that sounds sexier, according to a New York Times story published this week. The off-grid water movement is being driven by sophisticated marketing, significant funding and influential Silicon Valley aficionados, the Times reports. One East Bay resident who is giving “pure water” a try is tech maven Skip Battle who has installed a water collection system at his Berkeley Hills home. The system, called Source, from Zero Mass Water, costs about $4,500 and is solar-powered. “The company’s technology pulls pure water from vapor in the air, yielding clean drinking water (leaving out any other materials),” said a Zero Mass Water spokesperson. “It is the opposite of ‘raw water,’ which is essentially untreated ground or surface water, which almost certainly contains any number of pathogens. Our water is clean, and stays that way, with active monitoring. We know exactly what’s in the water and as a result, know our water is safe and healthy.” Battle gets the water from a faucet set up in his garden, and told the Times he finds it more refreshing than tap water. He likes it so much he’s been making all his meals and drinks with it, in fact.


An Eichler home at 8010 Shay Dr. in the Sequoyah Hills sold for its list price of $1,050,000. Photo: MLS

A 1965 Eichler home in Oakland’s Sequoyah Hills, designed by architect A. Quincy Jones, sold recently for its list price — $1,050,000 — a surprise, perhaps, given the tendency for most homes to sell well over asking price in the East Bay, and because the mid-century modern dwelling was apparently very desirable. The listing write-up said it was “one of the most popular and iconic Eichler homes ever made.” And the 2,421-square-foot home caught the attention of Curbed SF who included it in its (short) list of the Bay Area’s most beautiful homes of 2017. Curbed was particularly impressed with the fact it was a double-A frame construction, which it described as “rare.” Of the home, at 8010 Shay Dr., Curbed wrote that it “managed to drop our jaws with its spacious atrium, exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, and carefully updated interiors.” The love only went so far, however. The home’s den, which photos show features some “interesting” woodwork, was “a bit too on the nose” for them.

Don’t miss the Neighborhood Guides in Berkeleyside’s Real Estate section: from Albany to Uptown Oakland, these area profiles, curated by local real estate experts, include information on housing inventory, neighborhood hotspots, lifestyle, walkability and commutes.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...