UC Berkeley has quietly occupied yet another Berkeley building, with the law school taking occupancy of 2850 Telegraph Ave.
The six-story structure at the southwest corner of the intersection of Telegraph and Oregon Street was built in 1970, replacing a 1931 Tudoresque mortuary.
Seagate Properties, a San Rafael company, bought the building in January 2005.
In addition to the 68,587 square feet of the office building, 68 underground parking spaces and a basement add another 20,000 square feet, according to a press release from Seagate at the time of its purchase.
The lot contains another 86 surface parking spaces behind the building.
In an April 9, 2008, e-mail to law school students, Dean Christopher Edley had announced plans to lease 40,000 square feet of the building.
“This would allow us to consolidate many of our operations into a single location,” he wrote. “We would have a frequent shuttle to carry people between the two Law buildings. At the moment, this looks like the most viable option for a second law school campus.”
The school’s Alumni Center moved officially into the building on April 13, and other law school tenants include the Center for Law, Business and the Economy, the Center on Health, Economic and Family Security, the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity, the Miller Institute for Global Challenges and the Law, and the school’s press and communication departments.
Because no property taxes or assessments are levied against building space owned or leased by the university, a complete takeover of the building could spell the loss of the $184,167 Seagate was billed by the Alameda County Assessor’s office for the most recent tax year.
The Telegraph Avenue building is the university’s second major off-campus acquisition in recent months. Earlier this year UC Berkeley bought the 211,000-square-foot Golden Bear building at 1995 University Ave. In that instance, the university agreed to pay the city $159,000 a year as compensation for lost tax and assessment revenues.
Unlike that agreement, no such agreement was struck in the Telegraph Avenue acquisition, said Dan Mogulof, campus executive director of Public Affairs.
Mogulof said the sale closed on April 1, 2009, with a purchase price of $21.8 million, financed “through University-sponsored tax exempt bonds with payments funded by revenue from tenants.”
The law school currently occupies about two-thirds of the structure, with non-university clients leasing the rest.
Seagate has been selling off some of its Berkeley properties. In 2005, the company sold the site and plans for the nine-story-plus Berkeley Arpeggio now rising on Center Street west of Shattuck Avenue was sold to SNK Development, which is now busily building the condo mid-rise.
Two years later, Seagate sold its landmark property in the city, the Wells Fargo building at the intersection of Shattuck and Center, to a Nevada corporation based in Marin County, the Bollibokka Land Company.
A call to Seagate was not returned by the Daily Planet’s deadline.