“Moorish Palace” for UC Berkeley students sells for $113M

Enclave’s price calculates to $2M per unit

Goldman Sachs' David Solomon with 2503 Haste Street
Goldman Sachs' David Solomon with 2503 Haste Street (Getty, UC Berkeley)

A castle-like complex for students in Berkeley has sold for nearly $113 million in an all-cash deal.

Irvine-based LBA Realty and Point Richmond-based West Builders sold the 55-unit complex at 2503 Haste Street, on the corner of Telegraph Avenue, the San Jose Mercury News reported. The buyer was an affiliate led by New York City-based Goldman Sachs.

The selling price was $2 million per unit, or up to $444,488 per student bed.

The Enclave, which opened in fall 2020, has up to 254 student beds. Its property value is $57.2 million, according to the Alameda County Assessor’s Office.

The seven-story mixed-use building, designed by Walnut Creek-based LCA Architects, built in a hodge-podge of styles, resembles an Italian village perched on a cliff. The architects called it a “Moorish palace.”

Its bottom half resembles a rocky cliff face, while its top half showcases a series of minarets, with elements that hearken back to Moorish and Tudor architecture, some critics said.

The student housing building includes terraces and gathering spots that look like courtyards, the LCA Architect’s site shows. The building offers an upper and a lower terrace.

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The apartments include a variety of configurations, with single and double rooms in shared apartments with two bathrooms including bathtubs. The 12 different apartment layouts accommodate between two and seven students, according to a post on the UC Berkeley housing website. A shared kitchen and living area are also included in the apartments.

Located less than three blocks south of the UC Berkeley campus, the Enclave includes five retail spaces for ground-floor shops and restaurants, which sit vacant except for a sandwich shop, according to the Los Angeles Times. It replaced The Berkeley Inn, a fleabag hotel destroyed by fire in the 1980s.

Its sale follows another student housing complex to trade this month. The 120-unit Telegraph Commons sold for $28 million, or $232,917 per unit, at 2846 Channing Way, two blocks from campus.

London based-Grosvenor just broke ground on a 163-unit complex at 951 Shattuck Avenue, a block from campus.

UC Berkeley has faced lawsuits over the lack of housing for students and has revamped its zoning codes to attempt to encourage construction.

The university was ordered to cut in-person fall enrollment by 2,629, and the city has been working to address the housing crisis. Just 22 percent of roughly 40,000 students live in housing owned by the school, according to the recent report.

– Dana Bartholomew

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