A Best Western Plus location is slated to open in North Berkeley at the intersection of University Avenue and Sacramento Street this May and will provide more space for visitors in the city, as first reported by Berkeleyside.
The hotel scene in Berkeley will be facing a major change, as not just one but two Best Western hotels are going to be developed in the area. According to Dan Marengo, the communications director of Visit Berkeley — the city’s local tourism group — a Residence Inn run by Marriott Hotel is also scheduled to open in Berkeley in 2020.
“The impact will be positive,” Marengo said. “They will both be great additions, both close to UC Berkeley.”
According to Marengo, the hotels will be especially helpful when there are events in the city and on campus, as friends, parents and others crowd both the campus and the 1,400 available hotel rooms in Berkeley.
The Best Western Plus, which will be three stories tall with 39 rooms, will be one of only two new hotels to have opened in Berkeley in the past 25 years, according to Berkeleyside.
The hotel’s location, at 1499 University Ave., is just a few blocks from Trader Joe’s and even closer to the North Berkeley BART station. Additionally, the location on University Avenue is in close proximity to buses to and from campus.
The hotel will be surrounded by residential units, another hotel called the Rodeway Inn, a 7-Eleven and a Chevron. According to Berkeleyside, the hotel is being designed by Kava Massih Architects, which has been working on putting a hotel in North Berkeley since 2008.
Kava Massih Architects has been involved in the development of many campus projects, including the Café 3 dining commons, Brown’s and the Yali’s Café in Stanley Hall.
Historically, chains and corporations moving into the Berkeley area have been met with opposition because many community members want to protect small businesses. Marengo believes that with hotels, the general consensus is the opposite — there is value in chains in the hotel industry.
Graduate Berkeley, formerly the historic Hotel Durant, is an example of such a chain. The buyer and owner of the Graduate hotel chain, AJ Capital Partners, saw the advantage in having a location so close to campus and the city, and the company took action. The Graduate Hotels chain can be found in many college towns across the country.
“The hotel industry is the power of the networks that chains bring in terms of their reservation systems and economies of scale,” Marengo said.