More than 200 apartments eyed for downtown Berkeley

Project will also include 5,000 square feet of commercial space

Rendering of 1598-1548 University Avenue in Berkeley (Trachtenberg Architects)
Rendering of 1598-1548 University Avenue in Berkeley (Trachtenberg Architects)

More than 200 residential units and commercial space may be coming to downtown Berkeley.

Trachtenberg Architects filed a pre-application for a 210-apartment development at 1598 University Avenue at California Street, the San Francisco Business Times reported. The plans call for a mix of studios, one-bedroom units and two-bedroom units, with about 20 percent being marketed as affordable. Developer NX Ventures will use the state density bonus law to build the number of planned units.

The lot, which measures about two-thirds of an acre, will allow substantial on-site amenities, NX co-founder Nathan George told the Business Times. On-site parking, a courtyard and fitness center are included in the plans.

Located about a mile from the Berkeley campus, the project may attract students, though it won’t cater specifically to them. According to George, one of NX’s other nearby projects is about two-thirds leased to students.

The project will be developed under SB 330, a state law that allows for expedited approval for residential projects.

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In addition to the residential units, the University Avenue development will include almost 5,000 square feet of commercial space.

NX bought the three-parcel lot at 1598-1548 University Avenue in September for $5 million. The surface parking lot and one-story commercial buildings on the site will be demolished to make way for the new project.

One of the buildings holds the Hanwen Chinese language school and the other is leased by North Beach Pizza. George said the restaurant knew the property would be up for redevelopment when it leased the space, and it will be given the option of relocating into the project.

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