building erectionAnd a summer controversy finally culminates. Remember all the ado over developing Downtown Berkeley (the sprinkling of some new tall buildings)? Well, it really got us thinking about what Downtown Berkeley means to us. The resulting five paragraph essay was straight up too obscene for the internet. It also lacked a conclusion – until now.

The plan that passed over the summer was rescinded Tuesday night in favor of a new one put forth by our mayor, Tom Bates. The old plan allowed for two 180 foot (and if a hotel, higher) buildings, four 120 footers and four 100 footers. That makes 10. Ten tall towers.

The new plan allows for three 160 footers, three 140 footers, and two 120 footers in Downtown’s “outer core.” That makes … eight. If you fail to see a dramatic difference between these plans, you’re not alone. We guess people just really didn’t want that hotel.

Oh, and the new plan also secures some public benefits like mandatory cheap housing and green building practices in new structures. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Downtown Berkeley, thought to be the future where it’s at, has lost its Ito and now has had its vertical expansion (slightly) curtailed. What the future holds still remains to be seen.

Image Source: Amarand Agasi under Creative Commons
City Council Rescinds Downtown Area Plan in Unanimous Vote [Daily Cal!]
Bates downtown plan approved [berkeleyside]



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