Arts & Events

Press Release: The Chamber of Commerce Has Plans
for Downtown Berkeley

From the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce
Friday January 25, 2013 - 10:10:00 AM

When: Monday, February 4, 2013 ~ 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

Where: Berkeley Chamber of Commerce ~ 1834 University Avenue, Second Floor

Please bring your Brown Bag Lunch - Space is Limited

Please join Government Affairs Chairperson Mark Rhoades, AICP, John Caner, CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association, and Michael Caplan, Manager of the City of Berkeley's Office of Economic Development, at the Chamber of Commerce's Government Affairs Committee on Monday, February 4th, 2013, for a discussion and update on Downtown Berkeley. 

Our first discussion of the year will be held in the Chamber's brand new Board room and will provide an overview of the tremendous positive change that is occurring in the Downtown as well as the continuing challenges from a business and development perspective. 

Three major changes in circumstances are converging that have the potential to reshape the downtown and to create a more vibrant, welcoming, and prosperous community "living room." 

First, after nearly eight years of public process for the Downtown Area Plan, new zoning has been implemented. Second, is the tremendous work that has been done by the Downtown Berkeley Association to establish the Downtown's Property-Based Business Improvement District (PBID). Third, is the recovering economy. The Urban Land Institute's projections for 2013 show the San Francisco Bay Area as the number one real estate investment economy in the United States for the next year or more. 

What this means for Downtown Berkeley is investment in new projects, both large and small. A number of new businesses have opened in the last few months with more on the way. There are also currently six major development projects in the pipeline that will create nearly 800 new dwelling units and approximately 35,000 square feet of new retail space. The new housing will generate approximately 1,600 or more new Downtown residents. As a start, the Zoning Adjustments Board approved the 205-unit Acheson Commons project and the 99-unit project at Dwight and Shattuck on December 20, 2012. Keeping this momentum going will take a concerted effort on the part of the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Berkeley Association and groups such as Berkeley Design Advocates, Livable Berkeley and others. We look forward to seeing you!