Berkeley: 2121 Durant/2124 Bancroft - Skinny Apartment Building Proposed in Downtown Berkeley

Rendering: Vero Properties/Kahn Design Associates
I started to feel bad over the weekend because I noticed that I'd almost exclusively been covering developments in Oakland over the past two weeks. Though obviously Berkeley and Emeryville are smaller, I'm happy to mix it up a bit and so here is my long overdue post about a development in Berkeley.

A somewhat unusual building is proposed for a long, narrow lot that fronts both Durant Avenue and Bancroft Way just east of Shattuck in Downtown Berkeley. Quite literally an infill project, the new development would include 50 new apartments as well as 13 parking spaces. A small ground floor retail space is shown in some of the renderings but is not listed on the project's official application so it is not clear whether it will be included in the final version of this project. Vero Properties is developing the project with designs by Berkeley-based Kahn Design Associates. Kudos to the design team for finding a way to squeeze 50 units into this narrow lot!

The site is currently home to a small parking lot as well as a 5-unit residential structure. Rather than demolishing the residential building, the developer is proposing to move it to an empty lot a few blocks away at 1940 Haste Street. It's quite incredible that they are moving this entire, non-landmarked structure. My guess would be that it is more cost-effective to move it rather than to have to replace the 5 rent-controlled apartments that would be demolished otherwise.

Whatever the reasons may be, it's great to see another infill development in a walkable and transit-friendly environment. It's also worth pointing out that this project would probably not be happening if it had to provide 50 parking spaces or more, showing that the redevelopment of smaller lots is tied to flexible parking requirements.

Rendering: Vero Properties/Kahn Design Associates
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