The City of Berkeley has approved the SB35 application for 3120 Shattuck Avenue in South Berkeley, Alameda County. This paves the way for the applicant to receive a streamlined ministerial review for the proposed eight-story permanently affordable housing proposal to be called Woolsey Gardens. NorCal Community Land Trust is responsible for the application.
The developer has planned the Woolsey Gardens building as a future community hub that offers housing along with the services of existing tenants on-site: the Homeless Action Center and the anarchist Long Haul InfoShop. Rentable micro-workshop spaces will be offered for emerging local entrepreneurs to find a foothold in Berkeley.
The plan will create 65 units of cooperative housing and condominiums that will be offered for ownership. NCLT has promised to prioritize existing and former Berkeley-based prospective tenants under the spirit of the right to return and the right to stay. Construction will use 100% renewable energy, using methods to sequester carbon during construction and increase efficiency once built.
The 84-foot tall structure will yield around 54,290 square feet, with 46,950 square feet for housing and 7,320 square feet for ground-level commercial space. Of the 65 units, there will be 25 studios, 20 one-bedrooms, and 20 two-bedrooms. Parking will be included for 36 bicycles and no cars, a decision that will promote local public transit and reduce congestion in the area. BKF is overseeing the civil engineering. The 65 units will range from extremely low- to moderate-income households.
Solomon Cordwell Buenz is the project architect. The prolific firm, most recognized in the Bay Area for its planned and built skyscrapers in San Francisco and Oakland, has planned a rather typical-looking apartment infill. Facade materials will include painted metal, concrete, stucco, wood-like cladding, and floor-to-ceiling windows. A large solar panel structure will provide shading over the rooftop terrace and act as the defining visual character for the eight-story infill. Groundworks Office is responsible for the landscape architecture.
The 0.21-acre parcel is located on Shattuck Avenue between Prince Street and Woolsey Street, just two blocks from the Ashby BART Station.
With ministerial approval granted, NCLT will move forward to the building permit phase. The estimated timeline for approval and groundbreaking has yet to be established.