Visions, UC Hotel Plans Lead DAPAC Agenda

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday November 14, 2006

It’s back to the vision thing Wednesday night for the citizens panel helping formulate a new plan for downtown Berkeley. 

The Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee will meet at 7 p.m. to hear what visions members have formulated to serve as guideposts for planning in the recently expanded downtown area. 

Committee members broke off a discussion of detailed planning concepts two weeks ago because they said they felt they hadn’t given enough attention to formulating an overall vision for the future of the city center.  

Planning staff under Matt Taecker, the consultant hired to formulate the plan, will present a synthesis of the essays that members drafted after the earlier session. 

The plan and the larger guidelines resulted from a city lawsuit challenging university plans that include the addition of a million square feet of UC Berkeley within the downtown area. 

In addition to describing their visions for the downtown, committee members will hear an update on the plans by the university and a Boston hotelier to build a high-rise hotel and conference center at the northeast corner of Shattuck Avenue and Center Street. 

Carpenter & Company is developing plans for a complex at the site that now houses a Bank of America branch. Condominiums will also included in the project, which will become the tallest building constructed in downtown Berkeley in recent decades. 

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. on the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. at Martin Luther King Jr. Way.