View Full Version : Alameda County News & Developments
May 24th, 2011, 06:53 PM
Alameda County (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alameda_County,_California) is a county in the U.S. state of California. It occupies most of the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 1,510,271, making it the 7th largest county in the state. The county includes the cities of Oakland and Berkeley, and Oakland is its seat.
May 24th, 2011, 07:14 PM
by Tracey Taylor (http://www.berkeleyside.com/2011/05/23/slow-but-sure-apples-berkeley-store-under-construction/)
Berkeley's Apple store at 1823 Fourth Street on May 22.
When we broke the news in October 2010 that Apple was planning to build a new store on Berkeley’s Fourth Street, we naively imagined it might actually be open by now.
Not so. Construction is still underway, behind the somewhat ominous black hoarding. Security at the site has also been tightened up, perhaps because the computer giant didn’t take too kindly to scrutiny of a building accident that happened there in February. More likely because Apple is notoriously private.
It’s clear from what one can see from the street that the plans for a partial second story are developing nicely. We will keep you posted periodically on developments — we know there are more than a few Apple fanatics out there, for whom the arrival of a new i-mecca is worthy of celebration.
May 24th, 2011, 07:17 PM
by Tracey Taylor (http://www.berkeleyside.com/2010/10/14/apple-store-slated-to-open-on-berkeleys-4th-street/)
Apple's Bay Street store, which is 2.7 miles from Berkeley's Fourth Street.
Apple will open one of its sleek retail operations on Fourth Street in Berkeley, according to sources close to the negotiations.
The computer giant will take over the former Slater Marinoff space at 1823 Fourth Street, currently being used by Ford Motor Co. as a pop-up store, and will probably open around March next year, according to several reliable independent sources who asked that their names not be used.
Nobody at Apple or in the City of Berkeley would comment on the news.
“I can neither confirm nor deny that,” said Michael Caplan, Berkeley’s economic development manager.
Apple would not corroborate the speculation either. Spokesperson Amy Barney said: “We’ve made no announcements about a store in that location.” Asked whether Apple planned to, she replied: “We don’t comment on rumors and speculation.” Calls to Denny Abrams, who manages Fourth Street’s retail operations, were not returned.
A number of sources, including some Fourth Street merchants and other business owners, told Berkeleyside they had heard that Apple was coming to town.
The closest Apple store to Berkeley is at 5656 Bay Street in Emeryville which is 2.7 miles away from the Fourth Street space.
The arrival of a blue-chip brand such as Apple in one of Berkeley’s prime retail districts will provide a significant morale and economic boost for the city which has seen retail sales drop by nearly $200 million over the past two years.
May 24th, 2011, 08:53 PM
MacArthur Transit Village construction breaks ground in Oakland
Published on Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Last updated on 07:55AM, Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Image from: oaklandlocal.com
17 years in the planning--the MacArthur Transit Village has finally broken ground--on the site of two condemned motels.
The first phase of the project focuses on demolition of the two motels on West MacArthur Boulevard and building a new parking garage for the station. It's expected to finins May 2012.
The next phase of the project then starts in the existing lot, which will be turned into a complex with 624 units of housing and more than 42,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. Eventually, there will be 100-plus housing units offered as at rates below market as affordable housing as part of the complex.
What's phase one going to cost? $51 million--coming from the Federal Transit Authority and Oakland's redevelopment agency. And phase 2? City Council approved it last week.
Project website: http://www.build-california.com/default.aspx?DN=22,4,1,Documents&view=1
July 11th, 2011, 10:42 PM
Century Theaters will open a 16-screen complex that will be centerpiece of Fremont entertainment district
Century Theatres will become the centerpiece of a new entertainment complex in Fremont, a city without a downtown that hungers for a focal point for new kinds of nightlife -- and for what city officials said Tuesday would be a place for "date night."
"We are very excited about the theaters," said Lori Taylor, Fremont's economic development director. "Our hope is that with the final buildout, this would be a chance for Fremont to be an entertainment district."
The movie company has signed a deal to open a 16-screen theater complex in the Pacific Commons retail center near Interstate 880 and Auto Mall Parkway. Once built, this would become the largest cluster of movie theaters along I-880 between Union City, which has a 25-screen complex, and Milpitas, which offers a 20-screen facility at the Great Mall.
"This is a very important project for us," said Sam Whiskeman, first vice president of Catellus Development, the principal developer of the project. "It's great to have them. They will anchor the entertainment district with Pacific Commons."
Century Theatres signed a 60,000-square-foot lease to become the primary anchor of the entertainment district that Fremont envisions, one that could be vital to Fremont's economic evolution.
Although Fremont is one of the largest cities by population in the Bay Area, it doesn't have a real downtown. This new entertainment district may help fill that gap.
"It will be a great place for people to take your family for a weekend, or for a day, to shop and dine, or go out on a date," Taylor said. "We really need a place for date night in Fremont."
Construction is under way for the new theater complex. The movie center will be part of a 320,000-square-foot entertainment and retail project that will also feature a 140,000-square-foot Target store as a co-anchor and 120,000 square feet of smaller spaces.
"We will have a variety of restaurant and food services, some quick service and some full-service restaurants," Whiskeman said. "We will also have apparel, home furnishings, electronics, and other retail."
We believe that all the tenants we want to bring in are compatible with the entertainment district that we are creating," Whiskeman added. "They will work together to energize each other."
The entertainment district will feature more than traditional retailers.
"In-between the theaters and Target, there will be small boutique stores, a plaza area and a children's playground," Taylor said.
That will give visitors an experience beyond just movies, dining and shopping. "People can hang out in addition to the movies and shopping," Taylor said. "We're really excited about it."
July 13th, 2011, 04:11 AM
I wonder what other "entertainment" will be part of the project. Is this near Pacific Commons?
July 14th, 2011, 01:59 AM
I wonder what other "entertainment" will be part of the project. Is this near Pacific Commons?
Yeah, this is part of PC - where the A's wanted to build a stadium/mixed-use development at one point. Other than the proposed movie theater, there's a bunch of chain restaurants, big box stores, an Asian plaza, and an auto mall. I have family out in Fremont so I'm there quite a bit. Trust me - this is a huge leap in terms of 'entertainment' options out there. Even though Fremont is a city of 200K people, it lacks a defined downtown and any significant concentration of retail/commercial.
July 27th, 2011, 04:50 PM
This time last year it was a demolition site. Today, the new five-story Helios building in downtown Berkeley stands tall — and vibrant — at 2151 Berkeley Way at Shattuck, not yet complete, but well on the way.
The Helios Energy Research Facility, a UC Berkeley-Berkeley Lab initiative supported with funding from BP, will house Energy Biosciences Institute researchers whose focus is alternative energy. The building took the place of Department of Health Services offices that had stood vacant since 2006.
The bright green color on the walls currently on display is temporary and due to exterior water proofing. Work began last week to install electrical and data lines across Hearst Avenue. Tomorrow should see concrete pours in the basement and on the roof, and the exterior ‘skin’ of the building will soon include window and glass installation.
Construction updates on the building are available on the Helios Energy Research Facility website. (http://www.facilities.berkeley.edu/CP/Projects/Helios/Details.html)
July 27th, 2011, 04:53 PM
The PBID will begin operating in January 2012 with an annual budget of almost $1.2 million, managed by the DBA. The bulk of the PBID resources, around $850,000, will be for clean, safe and beautification services and improvements. The PBID will fund a maintenance team, providing services beyond those already provided by the city. The Host Ambassador program to patrol downtown, provide visitor assistance, neighborhood watch, merchant support, and homeless services outreach, will be expanded.
“Working on gum stains and graffiti isn’t glamorous, but it’s an essential part of what’s needed,” Caner said.
An additional $200,000 of the PBID budget is for marketing to help bring more visitors and residents downtown and effectively compete with other regional business districts; and a business attraction and retention program for businesses interested in starting, expanding or relocating within downtown Berkeley.
“We can attract more people and that in turn will attract new investment,” Caner said. “It’s happened in communities around the country, and Berkeley can learn from the successes of the 1,000 other PBIDs in the U.S. and Canada.”
July 27th, 2011, 05:01 PM
This year marks the 100th birthday of the menagerie carousel in Tilden Park and the public is invited to celebrate the anniversary on Saturday August 13th.
The merry go round was built in 1911 by the Herschell-Spillman Company of North Tonawanda, New York for one Ross Davis. It did duty in San Bernardino County, San Diego, and Griffith Park in Los Angeles before finding its permanent home in Berkeley in 1948.
Ross’s son and daughter-in-law, John and Janet Davis, owned and operated the business until 1953, after which they became partners with their cousins, Jeanette and Harry Perry, who stayed in Tilden Park for 39 years.
In 1976, the carousel was threatened with closure, but a “Save The Carousel” campaign resulted in the park district buying the ride from the Perry family. Two years later the merry go round was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Celebrations on August 13th, which run from 11am-6pm, include commemorative displays, face painting, kids’ crafts, birthday cake, and, of coure, rides on the merry go round. Visit the Tilden Park Merry Go Round website (http://www.tildenmgr.com/) or call 510-524 6773 for details.
March 3rd, 2012, 06:18 PM
Plan dusted off for big Oakland residential tower
Developer O’Keeffe sets his sights high: 42 stories
Reporter - San Francisco Business Times
Developer David O’Keeffe has revived a plan to build a 42-story, 370-unit residential tower near Lake Merritt that could become Oakland’s tallest residential building and second-tallest skyscraper.
The project, known as Emerald Views, is slated for 222 19th St., a 32,000-square-foot site that is currently home to an English-style garden.
O’Keeffe first filed an application for the project five years ago, but hadn’t pushed hard to move it through the entitlement process until recently, when he posted a draft environmental impact report. The Oakland Planning Commission is expected to begin considering the project before the end of the year.
“The timing is perfect from a developer’s perspective,” O’Keeffe said.
Still, in the best case scenario, it could take at least five years for the project to be built: two years to win approvals and then close to three years for construction — assuming O’Keeffe can secure financing . . . .
March 4th, 2012, 05:45 AM
^^ At 42-story this would make it the tallest building in Oakland.
Source: http://grandlakeguardian.org/ (Grand Lake Guardian)
March 22nd, 2012, 11:04 AM
After seven long years, Berkeley adopts a plan for downtown
After hundreds of meetings, seven years of contentious debate, and the sting of a ballot referendum still fresh, the Berkeley City Council on Tuesday night adopted a new plan for its downtown.
The 8 to 1 vote, with Councilmember Kriss Worthington dissenting, may bring as many as seven tall buildings to the area bounded by Hearst Avenue to the north, Dwight Way to the south, MLK on the west, and Fulton on the east. It creates open space requirements, allows a faster approval process for buildings that are extra “green,” encourages LEED Gold construction, and creates a fund to build more affordable housing.
And, according to critics, it might create a cookie-cutter approach to building construction and a density that is out of character with Berkeley.
The plan, which is the result of a compromise between the council’s pro and anti-development factions, seemed to please everyone a bit and no one completely.
“Seven years is a long time,” said Councilmember Jesse Arreguìn. “We do have a plan that is really a compromise. In the end, I think it is a much better plan than what the council had in 2009.”
May 17th, 2012, 10:53 PM
I can't wait when this is done.
'The Death of the Frickstad Viaduct', or 'The Rebirth of Lake Merritt's South End' (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cold_iron/5227300258/) by Cold Iron (http://www.flickr.com/people/cold_iron/), on Flickr
October 26th, 2012, 04:20 PM
Oakland Army Base deal signed Tuesday
By Matthew Artz Oakland Tribune
Posted: 10/23/2012 06:06:47 PM PDT
Updated: 10/24/2012 06:37:25 AM PDT
OAKLAND -- The $1 billion effort to redevelop Oakland's former Army Base into a jobs-generating logistics and warehousing center took a major step forward Tuesday when city leaders and developers signed off on a series of key agreements.
The agreements, which cover nearly 1,700 pages of legal documents, spell out the terms for one of the region's largest public private partnerships that aims to create several thousand blue-collar jobs for Oakland residents and help the Port of Oakland stay competitive.
"This is about job creation and realizing the vision of a working waterfront," developer Phil Tagami said after a brief ceremony at City Hall. Construction work is scheduled to begin in June.
Read more: http://www.insidebayarea.com/bay-area-news/ci_21839538/oakland-army-base-deal-signed-tuesday
January 28th, 2013, 02:29 AM
Coliseum Authority to study plans for new Oakland Raiders football stadium and entertainment district
By Paul T. Rosynsky
Posted: 01/26/2013 06:34:23 AM PST
Updated: 01/26/2013 06:35:02 AM PST
OAKLAND -- The city's dream of remaining the home of at least one professional sports franchise continued Friday as the governing board overseeing the coliseum complex agreed to spend $1 million studying new stadium proposals.
Dubbed "Coliseum City," the proposal calls for a construction of an entertainment and sports district on the 1,000 acres of land where the O.co Coliseum and Oracle Arena now stand.
The project models itself after the vibrant L.A. Live development in downtown Los Angeles anchored by Staples Arena that houses three professional sports teams. The development also has several entertainment options including a theater, restaurants and bars.
Read more: http://www.insidebayarea.com/breaking-news/ci_22453012/coliseum-authority-study-plans-new-oakland-raiders-football?source=most_viewed
January 28th, 2013, 02:30 AM
I hope the Coliseum City idea works out. I would hate to see Oakland left with nothing.
February 12th, 2013, 07:00 AM
Berkeleyside recently did a run-down of projects in and around Downtown Berkeley.
The biggest proposal is probably "The Residences at Berkeley Plaza", which would replace the 7-screen Shattuck Cinemas with a 17-story apartment building, behind the Shattuck Hotel. It's the first proposal of any real height since the '70s, and would be the tallest building downtown.
Source: Berkeleyside (http://www.berkeleyside.com)
1,000 new apartments planned for downtown Berkeley
February 7, 2013 11:00 am by Frances Dinkelspiel
...Five years after Lehman Brothers collapsed, triggering a global economic meltdown that made banks wary to lend and developers wary to build, the apartment market is heating up. Nowhere is that easier to see than in Berkeley, where developers are proposing to build more than 1,000 units over the next few years in the downtown core and surrounding neighborhoods. If the city allows the projects to go forward, it could bring thousands of new residents and dozens of new retail spaces downtown, potentially transforming the area.
Read more: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2013/02/07/1000-apartments-planned-for-downtown-berkeley/
February 15th, 2013, 03:19 PM
Acheson Commons Receives Approval For $90MM Investment In Berkeley; Set To Commence 4Q 2013 (http://news.theregistrysf.com/acheson-commons-receives-approval-for-90mm-investment-in-berkeley-set-to-commence-4q-2013/)
(Berkeley, CA – 17 January 2013) – The first major entitlement under Berkeley’s new Downtown Area Plan, Acheson Commons, cleared another major hurdle with its unanimous final approval by the city’s Zoning Adjustments Board in late December. Fronting University, Walnut and Shattuck Avenues, Acheson Commons will continue to encompass approximately 33,250SF of ground floor retail, with the addition of 205 units of transit-oriented and sustainable urban infill residences incorporated into the site. Included within the approved plan is an AC Transit Pass for every residence, in addition to 21 Below Market Rate Housing units.
Being developed by Equity Residential, in collaboration with local Berkeley architects and planners, Kirk Peterson Architects and Rhoades Planning Group, the $90 million project also encompasses $6 million to restore historic facades and materials. The highly anticipated project, which was also approved unanimously by Berkeley’s Design Review Committee and the Landmark Preservation Commission, is expected to not only bring 350 more residents to the city’s core, but new temporary and permanent jobs