The largest affordable housing project in Berkeley opened its doors last week with an official ceremony for the Berkeley Way Apartments at 2012 Berkeley Way. The event launched the opening of low-income and permanent supportive units and the Hope Center, which now provides supportive services for residents and the community in the downtown urban center, with BART and AC Transit both nearby. The project is a joint venture with BRIDGE Housing and BFHP.
Speaking about the opening, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín expressed that “the Hope Center is aptly named, as the housing and services that this landmark project creates will spur opportunity and prosperity–it’s my proudest accomplishment as Mayor of Berkeley.” He went on to exclaim, “we have transformed a parking lot into a portrait of progress.”
The six-story structure yields 138,950 square feet with a range of indoor and outdoor amenities. The property will include 142 homes and 44 beds in a shelter for homeless people and veterans. Of the 142 homes, 89 will be affordable apartments ranging from studios to two-bedroom units, and 53 will be permanent supportive housing studios. Apartment amenities will include a play area, lounges, and an on-site edible herb garden.
Services for the shelter beds will include a community kitchen, assistance for mental health, substance abuse, and job training. Social activities will also be provided.
“This is truly a historic moment as we bring online the single largest infusion of affordable and permanent supportive housing in Berkley’s history,” said Calleene Egan, CEO of Berkeley Food & Housing Project. “We hope this is the first of many developments of this kind throughout the Bay Area, offering truly permanent homes with wraparound support to ensure each and every one of our neighbors can access and sustain a safe, comfortable, permanent home.”
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects is responsible for the design, which utilizes a series of irregular setbacks to articulate and visually break apart the massing. Two facade materials will add further visual interest.
The project was funded by various financial partners and with the passing of Measure O by city voters in 2018. Construction started at 2012 Berkeley Way in 2020, with concrete starting to rise above the first floor in early 2021. Early move-ins started in September. The Nibbi Brothers are the general contractors responsible for putting the building together.
“We’re proud to be part of this collaborative effort to deliver a broad range of housing and service solutions to Berkeley,” said Ken Lombard, President, and CEO of BRIDGE Housing. “In keeping with our mission, the Hope Center and Berkeley Way go beyond housing to provide opportunities that lift up people and the community. We’re grateful to Berkeley Food & Housing Project and all of the partners who helped bring this development to life.”
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More affordable housing in a public transit rich area is great. Hopefully there is going to be secured bicycle parking included.