New student housing plan for downtown Berkeley site after controversial tower is scrapped

Previous plans for an 18-story tower at the site faced opposition from neighborhood groups

National /
Aug.August 17, 2021 03:30 PM

CA Ventures CEO Tom Scott and 2065 Kittredge Street in Berkeley (CA, Google Maps)

A downtown Berkeley site that had been slated for a controversial mixed-use tower will instead be developed as student housing by Chicago-based CA Ventures.

The student housing arm of CA Ventures — CA Student Living — plans to construct a five-story, 189-unit residential building with 42 underground parking spots at 2065 Kittredge Street, according to the San Francisco Business Times.

The developer bought the property, currently home to the Shattuck Cinemas, the Habitot Children’s Museum and the Hotel Shattuck Plaza, from Hill Street Realty in March for $20 million. CA reportedly plans to demolish one of the commercial buildings to make way for the new project.

No formal application has been submitted for the project yet. However, according to the pre-application, CA plans to submit the plans under SB 330, which is a state law that expedites the planning approval process among other things. The project will also make use of a density bonus law to lessen parking minimums.

The seller, Hill Street Realty, initially submitted plans for an 18-story mixed-use tower in 2013. Multiple neighborhood groups opposed the project because of the projected density and the potential demolition of the existing buildings on the site.

In 2017, Hill Street Realty listed the property for sale, reportedly not with the intent to sell the building, but to generate interest to potential investors. The company scrapped the plans at the beginning of 2020 due to the project being “cost prohibitive.”

[SFBT] — Victoria Pruitt





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