Downtown Area Plan

Does anyone really believe that the Plan (DAP) will benefit Berkeley? It adds a huge number of high-priced apartments, plus a large hotel, to the downtown, with minimal parking. The assumption is that the new residents and hotel guests won’t have cars. All you have to do is look at other cities in this country and Europe to see that this won’t happen. So there are two possibilities. Either the projects will be successful, and traffic in downtown Berkeley will grind to a standstill, like San Francisco, New York or London, or apartment seekers will go to Oakland, where parking is more available. Berkeley will then have empty¬†apartments and bankrupt developers (e.g. the Arpeggio building on Center Street). Either way, this is a very ill-conceived plan, that is only made possible by banks’ willingness to finance real estate, without studying the economics of the projects.

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