DAPAC, Design Review Meetings Focus on Housing, Projects

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday October 17, 2006

A five-person panel will present their views Wednesday night about the role of social services, homelessness and new housing in a new plan for downtown Berkeley. 

The following evening, the Design Review Committee will examine plans for a series of projects that will make major changes in the Berkeley streetscape. 

The Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC) meets Wednesday to hear from Berkeley YMCA Executive Director Peter Chong; Chris Hess, director of resident services for affordable housing developer RCD; Boona Cheema, executive director of Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency; and Steve Barton and Jane Micallef of the city Housing Department. 

DAPAC was created by the settlement of the city’s lawsuit challenging UC Berkeley’s Long Range Development Plan 2020 and must create a new plan for an expanded downtown area. 

Following a discussion about the panel presentation, DAPAC’s Center Street Subcommittee will present a report focusing on their discussions of planned developments on the downtown street with the heaviest pedestrian traffic. 

That thoroughfare is the site of two major UCB-backed developments—a hotel and convention center complex at the northeast corner of the Shattuck Avenue intersection and a university museum and film complex at the northwestern end of the block. 

Developer Patrick Kennedy also plans a project across the street to the west, where he is acquiring the old Act I and Act II Theater. 

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. 


Design Review Committee 

Developers will present their designs for several new projects when the Design Review Committee meets at the same center starting at 6 p.m. Thursday. 

Among projects to be examined are plans for: 

• The new Freight & Salvage showroom at 2020 Addison St. 

• Developer John Gordon’s plans for transforming an 18,195-square-foot garage at 2929 Ashby Ave. into a retail, office and restaurant complex. 

• Plans for a 44,080-square-foot housing and retail complex at 2701 Shattuck Ave. at the site of a used-car lot. 

• Developers Chris Hudson and Evan McDonald’s plans for a controversial five-floor, 148-unit residential complex at 1885 University Ave., which the developers say will house a ground floor Trader Joe’s market. 

• Plans for a five-story, two-building, block-square housing-over-commercial complex at 700 University Ave. featuring 173 dwelling units and 212 parking spaces.