The Editor's Back Fence

News Of Interest to Berkeley

Friday December 28, 2012 - 08:39:00 AM

Two articles of interest to Berkeley have appeared in other media over the holidays. We'll have more in this space about these topics in the new year, but these links will keep you abreast of developments.

First, some Southern California developers, aided and abetted by Berkeley's ex-planning director land-use-planning manager Mark Rhoades, husband of Erin Rhoades (honcho of the Livable Berkeley developers' lobbying group) have drawn a bulls-eye on the old Hinks department store building, now home to the thriving Shattuck Cinemas. They propose to demolish much of the historic structure in order to construct a 17-story luxury apartment building, complete with a four-story parking garage. You don't really believe that this is "transit-friendly", do you? Residents of luxury apartments surely will have at least one auto per occupant. Here's a good story from Berkeleyside, complete with links to the promoters' press release.

Carolyn Jones in today's Chronicle covers the on-going story of another demolition in the works, the city of Berkeley's demolition-by-neglect of the Maudelle Shirek Old City Hall, a gorgeous Beaux Arts building which city officials have negligently allowed to decay. Councilmember Jesse Arreguin is determined to reverse the process. Read about it here.