21-unit complex on Shattuck Avenue to house UC Berkeley graduate students

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Leonie Leonida/Staff

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UC Berkeley will be moving graduate students into a new four-story housing complex located on Shattuck Avenue beginning in the fall semester.

The building, Shattuck Studios, is located at 2711 Shattuck Ave., and it will be opened for move-in Aug. 14, according to an email from campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff. The campus will lease the units from Panoramic Interests, a private developer.

“In the last year we’ve also explored creative options to help accommodate the growing number of new incoming students including providing additional housing through lease agreements in Berkeley,” Ratliff said in an email.

According to Ratliff, UC Berkeley will be leasing 21 studio units from Panoramic Interests for the next three years. The rental rate for a single occupancy in a studio is $2,180 per month.

The tenant lease is for 12 months, according to the UC Berkeley housing website. Additionally, the apartments have many upscale new features, including extra-deep soaking tubs, oversized windows, stainless steel appliances and soundproofing.

Igor Tregub, chair of the Zoning Adjustments Board, noted that when the board reviewed the proposal by Panoramic Interests, issues of accessibility — both financial and physical — came up.

“Those issues definitely came up when we were discussing it on the zoning board prior to it being issued an approval,” Tregub said. “The building also does not have an elevator, to my knowledge. That was one of the sticking points, if I recall.”  

Despite this, Tregub still considers the housing complex helpful to graduate students, stating that there will at least be an opportunity for 21 graduate students who can afford it to live there, making space in the market for other graduate students to find housing as well.

Jonathan Morris, president of the Graduate Assembly, echoed this sentiment. He noted the apartments will “definitely fill” given the constrictions on the housing market right now.

“I’m happy that they’re exploring any and all of the above options to get more housing to be available, even if it is expensive for now,” Morris said. “At the end of day, if someone wants to live close to campus and can pay it, they’re going to pay it.”

The zoning board has reviewed a few proposals to allocate housing specifically for graduate students or young professionals, according to Tregub.

Tregub added that the campus is responsible for meeting the housing needs of all the students it admits and that it has not been able to do so “for many decades.”

“Until such time as there is a place that every student can call home in Berkeley, I do believe that we should look at any and all approaches, including this one, to house students near transit and near where they go to school,” Tregub said.

Contact Mani Sandhu at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ManiSandhu24.