As a participant in the City of Berkeley Planning Commission’s David Brower Building/Oxford Street lot development site sub-committee meetings and workshops, I would like to belatedly commend the sub-committee members for their professionalism and diligence during the lengthy public process, and also commend the Berkeley City Council’s unanimous vote to pass the sub-committee’s recommendations.
Planning Commission Chairperson Rob Wrenn deserves special praise for his firm, even-handed approach toward all parties and interests involved during the sub-committee’s, at times, contentious process.
I am confident that the Brower Building will confront Berkeley’s current affordable housing crisis head-on by providing at least 90 or more units of deeply affordable housing. This housing will provide for an array of modest income populations, including employees who work locally in Berkeley, families with children, students and seniors among others.
The Brower Building’s planned 90 (plus) units will represent the largest amount of affordable units built on one site in 15 years, a tremendous public policy accomplishment for the City of Berkeley.
The Brower Building will also incorporate the highest green/sustainability standards possible, including solar heating, locally available green building materials, roof top gardens, and pedestrian/bicycle/transit-friendly streetscape features.
The Brower Building’s potential to be a world-class urban development represents one of the most exciting challenges for Berkeley’s highly respected non-profit development community.
Finally, to respond to a Sept. 7 letter expressing concern about losing the open, street-level Oxford Street parking lot: All current Oxford lot parking spaces will be fully replaced with an “easy-in and out” underground public parking garage below the Brower Building.
Commissioner, Housing Advisory Commission