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Over 1,000 New Housing Units Planned for Berkeley

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The nation's rental market is booming, and perhaps booming loudest in the Bay Area, the East Bay being no exception. Rents in Berkeley, for example, were up over 11% by the close of 2012 for one bedrooms and over 17% for 2 bedrooms (compared to 2010). Encouraged, housing developers in Berkeley "propose to build more than 1,000 units over the next few years in the downtown core and surrounding neighborhoods," reports Berkeleyside. Because the projects aren't only targeted at students-- a departure from Berkeley planning in the past-- city officials believe the construction has potential to transform the city, bringing thousands of new residents and businesses to serve them to Berkeley's downtown. Megaplexes like the proposed Acheson Commons and The Residences at Berkeley Plaza will be among approved high-density housing additions of three 180-foot buildings and four 120-foot buildings. "Collectively, they will create 1,220 units of housing," most of them downtown, plus 60,000 square feet of retail space. Staying true to its liberal leanings, Berkeley mandates that 10% of all units qualify as "affordable housing," though developers can instead opt to pay $28,000 for each missing "affordable" unit to the city's Housing Trust Fund. Here now are select preliminary renderings of some of the proposed developments, subject to change, of course, with community feedback.
· 1,000 New Apartments Planned for Downtown Berkeley [Berkeleyside]
· Whale-Sized Rents Finally Done Jumping to the Sky? [CurbedSF]