We are very excited to report that on December 10, the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board approved the Nexus, a mixed-use development on Telegraph Avenue, just five blocks from the UC Berkeley campus.
Proposed by Bay Area-based infill developer Panoramic Interests, the Nexus will provide 70 suites for students and families—including six apartments for very-low income residents—and 5,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, perfect for a streetside café or restaurant.
The Nexus will replace a vacant single story building that used to house the Center for Independent Living (CIL), a direct-service provider for people with disabilities. The design team worked closely with CIL to include many “universal design” features—elements that serve the needs of those with disabilities above and beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The building will also have a rooftop garden, water and energy efficient design elements, and sustainable construction materials.
The Nexus is particularly noteworthy in its approach to transportation. Only eight parking spaces will be included for commercial uses and disabled residents. Instead of paying for a costly parking garage, residents will be provided with a wealth of choices for walking, biking, and taking transit. More than 100 secure bike parking spaces will be provided, a City CarShare vehicle will be located onsite, and transit passes will be available to low-income residents. And being located steps away from bus stops on Telegraph Avenue and a mile from the Downtown Berkeley BART Station, residents should have no problem getting around without a car.
This was the final major approval needed for the Nexus. The City’s approval of this project is a big win for Berkeley and its residents, as well as the Bay Area as a whole. The Nexus will be a smart step toward solving the region’s housing affordability crisis, revitalizing the regional economy, and protecting the Bay Area’s greenbelt from sprawl.
Special thanks to Greenbelt Alliance intern and UC Berkeley senior Monica Van Luven for speaking at the approval hearing about our endorsement of the Nexus and the need for more homes for students near campus.