By Natalie Nagy
After submitting a proposal last August for its mixed-use development “The Hub” building in Berkeley, residential developer Core Spaces filed a revised proposal to expand its design for the 650,000-square-foot development. Located at 2128 Oxford Street and 2132‐2154 Center Street, the current 17-story mixed-use project will nearly double the residential capacity once it is raised to 25 stories.
Core Spaces plans to expand its initial proposal of 283 units to 551 apartments in a larger building that will total 650,530 square feet. The additional space will also include 15,791 square feet for commercial use, which will include retail, personal and household service, and food and alcohol service, according to Core Spaces project plans. Currently, the project site includes two buildings totaling 16 dwellings, according to the proposed plans, which contain retail and restaurant spaces on the ground floor, with residential units on the upper floors. Core Spaces plans to demolish these buildings to allow for the construction of its new development.
As part of its proposal to increase the number of units to 551, Core Spaces is also proposing to add 144 units as a result of the California State Density Law. The proposed plans will also increase the maximum building height from 180 feet to 250 feet and increase the widest dimension of the tower above 120 feet in building height from 120 feet to roughly 307 feet, according to the planning documents. To account for the increase in residential capacity, the project will include 47 parking spaces.
Core Spaces is working with architecture firm DLR on the project, and the two are looking to build upon the vision they have already presented in its original form. The primary design features pull from the surrounding neighborhoods, and they reflect the Spanish colonial style of buildings found throughout Berkeley. The design elements will also include earth tones, as well as increased lighting that will penetrate into the units.
“The project creates an elegant piece of architecture that pays homage to its context through materiality and detail, while embracing the history and soul of cultural revolution and the concepts of community, progress, love and continual change,” project documents state. “The design presents a duality that reflects a stoic and sophisticated outside and a rebellious vibrant inside.”
Neither DLR or Core Spaces returned a request for comment before the publishing of this article.
The lot is located approximately half a block from Downtown Berkeley with easy access to BART Station entry intersection and local shops. It is also located across the street from the UC Berkeley campus allowing student residents easy access to the school.
According to Core Spaces’ company website, the company focuses on building, buying and managing residential communities with an emphasis on amenities and increased hospitality elements. The Hub would provide the latest example of that. Across its portfolio, Core Spaces manages 22,000 units across 44 communities in 21 states. These include multifamily, single-family and student housing properties.
In 2022, the multifamily market across the broader Bay Area has seen average asking rents continuing to increase after they initially fell in 2020 at the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic. During the second quarter of 2022, the average asking rent hovered around $2,524, compared to $2,458 during the first quarter of the year. According to a recent Kidder Mathews Market Trend Bay Area Multifamily report. Overall construction deliveries have decreased by over 34 percent, while vacancy shrank to just under 5 percentage points to 4.8 percent.