Berkeley: 2539 Telegraph/The Independent Mixed-Use Building Getting Close to Approval

Rendering: Lowney Architecture
Much has been written about the decline of Telegraph Avenue's commercial district but things may be starting to turn around as a new mixed-use building called The Independent will soon rise near the corner of Blake and Telegraph. The proposed project will include 70 apartments and nearly 5,500 square feet of commercial space fronting Telegraph. Six of the apartments will be set aside as affordable units. Designed by East Bay firm Lowney Architecture, the project will only include 8 parking spots and, thanks to a density and height bonus, will rise up to 6 stories tall. Both parking and height concerns caused some members of the community to speak out against the project. However, after the project went through an environmental review process and the developers agreed to additional concessions, it looks like the project will likely be approved by the city on June 11 with construction hopefully starting very soon.

This apartment building will surely be popular with UC Berkeley students and faculty as it is just 5 blocks south of the campus. Though at 6-stories tall hardly a skyscraper, it's interesting how the building stands out in a sea of mostly low rise commercial buildings. I really hope that other property owners in the area will recognize how adding more housing could really benefit the Telegraph corridor and help revitalize it.

Rendering: Lowney Architecture

Rendering: Lowney Architecture

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