Equity Residential Wins Unanimous Final Approval for $90M Transit-Oriented Development

Acheson Commons, a $90 million project and the first major entitlement under Berkeley, Calif.’s Downtown Area Plan, received unanimous final approval by the city’s Zoning Adjustments Boards.

Berkeley, Calif.—Acheson Commons, a $90 million project and the first major entitlement under Berkeley, Calif.’s Downtown Area Plan, received unanimous final approval by the city’s Zoning Adjustments Boards in December. The community will include 33,250 square feet of ground-floor retail space and will have 205 transit-oriented and sustainable urban infill units incorporated into the property. Additionally, each residence will receive an AC Transit Pass.

The community is being developed by Equity Residential, and is being designed by Kirk Peterson Architects and Rhoades Planning Group. Part of the project includes renovation and restoration of historic facades and materials, with $6 million dedicated to this task.

Additionally, Acheson Commons is expected to bring 350 more residents to the Berkeley area, as well as new temporary and permanent jobs.

“Acheson Commons is a key component to the revitalization effort recently approved in the city of Berkeley focused on the addition of new housing and revitalizing the existing retail in the downtown, an area well known as one of the Bay Area’s most vibrant cultural and academic communities,” Peter Solar, vice president of development, Equity Residential, tells MHN. “By retaining the organic character of Berkeley’s downtown through extensive historical preservation of the existing structure’s storefront facades, Equity Residential’s plan to incorporate a vertical rise of new apartment residences above street level retail creates a mixed-use project at once compatible with its surrounding neighborhood. The plan for developing Acheson Commons also embraces the progressive mass transit system available to Bay Area residents by providing an annual transit pass assigned to each residence. Convenient access to mass transit will make this an appealing location for faculty and students working at or attending UC Berkeley, or professionals working in the city or any of the Bay Area’s many BART connected employment centers.”