Land Use Update: Nautilus Residential, Temescal Apartments, Ramen Shop, College Ave. Safeway

Friday, October 3, 2014

Nautilus Residential Project - Telegraph Ave (East Side) Between 51st Street & Claremont Avenue: This large (over 200 residential units) residential/mixed use project would replace two approved but unbuilt projects, Civiq and Creekside. The land use committee, and some nearby neighbors, heard a presentation by the developer (plans available here).

In addition to the apartment units, which would range from one to three bedrooms, the project would include a 25,000 sq.ft. grocery store plus another 5,000 sq.ft. of small local retail shops. Ten percent of the units would be priced to be affordable for very low income tenants, entitling the project to a 35 percent density bonus and whatever height variance was needed to accommodate those units. The project would be 20 feet tall (townhouses) on the Clarke Street frontage, rising to 70 feet on Telegraph and 51st Street. There would also be a public walkway meandering through the project area reflecting the culverted Temescal Creek 30 feet below ground level, with a plaza at 51st and Telegraph.

Two major concerns are the entry to the commercial parking area and the grocery store loading dock, both of which would be off of Clarke Street at the intersection of Redondo, and could impact residents on Clarke and Redondo.

The developers are still receiving community feedback, and final project plans are not complete. Comments may be sent to Andrew Cussen (, 510/343-5593.

Temescal Apartments - West Side of Broadway from 51st Street to 49th Street
This is another large (130 units) residential rental project on the border of Rockridge. Plans are available here.

These units would all be market rate. The building height would be five floors (60 feet) at Broadway and 51st, dropping to four floors as the building moves south to 49th Street with a two-story westward extension in the middle of the block. The project would also include four units of two-story townhouses on Desmond just south of 51st Street. The building design has been refined (drawing will be available on and the developer is planning to move the project forward towards Planning Commission consideration within the next few months. A recent neighborhood meeting did not surface any major objections from neighboring residents, although the project will cast very long shadows on midwinter mornings.

Ramen Shop Use Permit Modification - 5808 College
This successful restaurant is expanding into the adjacent space. The prior tenant, Rockridge Luggage, was evicted by the landlord to make room for the expansion. RCPC submitted a comment letter pointing out problems for nearby residents with the building's existing operations and how the problems - late-night noise, overflow parking, unsafe garage area, and compost and garbage bin odors - would get worse unless steps were taken to improve the situation. Planner Aubrey Rose (238-2071, is considering the comments and expects to make a decision shortly.

College Avenue Safeway Project - College/Claremont
Construction is nearing completion. Call RCPC (869-4200) with any problems. The proposed major sewer line in the middle of College Avenue has been moved to the side, and its installation should not cause major disruption. New sidewalks are being poured on both College and Claremont Avenue frontages. Unfortunately, the new streetlights on the Claremont Avenue frontage are placed further in from the curb than usual. Although the sidewalk is being widened to still meet standards required for the disabled, pedestrians will need to be alert to avoid walking into the lampposts.

Projected opening date for the new store and retail shops is still mid-November. Not all retail tenants are known, but will include the 1st United Services Credit Union (moved from Rockridge Shopping Center), the drycleaner (also moved from the shopping center), Philz Coffee (a San Francisco-based Bay Area franchise with stores in Berkeley), and a bank - unclear which one. There will also be a Starbucks (this block is going to be "coffee central") and a Wells Fargo located within the Safeway store.