JV to Develop Environmentally Conscious Berkeley Apartments

The sole multifamily property near the UC campus to feature rooftop solar panels, the 84-unit community will also feature 67 parking spaces for bikes and 68 spaces for cars.

By Jeffrey Steele

The Blake Rendering - Courtesy GemdaleGemdale Properties and Investment and Blake|Griggs Properties have acquired an 84-unit apartment site at 2035 Blake Street in Berkeley, Calif. Blake/Griggs Properties (BGP) will team as a co-developer on the project, to be called The Blake.

The shovel-ready site will feature approximately 1,350 square feet of ground floor retail space, 68 parking spaces and 67 bike parking spaces. Two vehicle spaces will be dedicated car-share slots. Additional electronic voltage-ready parking stalls will be provided. Included in the five-story development will be a pair of live-work units.

Place in the sun

The Blake is to be the sole multifamily property in the area to feature rooftop solar panels. The panels will help generate energy savings and should lure environmentally conscious prospective residents to the property.

Gemdale Properties and Investment (GPI) chairman Jason Zhu said the project benefits from a superior location. “It is a short 10-minute walk to Berkeley BART and the University of California Berkeley campus,” he observed.

“UC Berkeley is currently ranked first among public universities and third globally overall by U.S. News & World Report. The large student population, increasing enrollment and lack of on-campus housing provides a built-in demand generator. The Blake represents Gemdale’s third project in the Bay Area, a strategically very important high growth market for Gemdale.”

Walk of life

Downtown Berkeley is a supply-constrained yet high-growth district. It is a walker’s haven very attractive to urban professionals, noted Gemdale USA President Michael Krupa. The area also includes a number of museums, art galleries, theatres, restaurants and grocery stores. “Moreover there, are more than 350 startups in Berkeley, making the city a leading center for new business and innovative technologies,” he said. “It is also a short walk from the project to Berkeley Bowl, one of the most popular organic grocery stores in Berkeley.”

Added Brad Blake, co-founder and managing partner of BGP: “We are excited to do our first development project in Berkeley and with Gemdale and their Bay Area team.”

Gemdale Properties is an affiliate of Gemdale Corporation, one of China’s largest real estate developers. BGP is a well-established real estate firm with $800 million of current projects in the pipeline.

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