The Intersection, a graduate student housing project located on the border of Emeryville and Oakland, is planned to be gifted to UC Berkeley upon completion.
The multiuse facility will be located about three miles from campus and will include 105 residential apartment units, as well as rehabilitation of an existing commercial building, according to Kyle Gibson, the communications director for UC Berkeley Capital Strategies. The general contractor for the project is Cannon Constructors Inc.
The project’s construction is expected to be completed in late 2020, Gibson added. The project was originally planned as housing for the private market, but it is now intended to be donated to UC Berkeley.
“The shortage of available and affordable housing for Berkeley’s students and untenured ladder faculty is a matter of urgent concern,” Gibson said in an email.
Of all the campuses in the UC system, UC Berkeley currently has the lowest percentage of beds for undergraduate and graduate students, according to Gibson. Additional student housing plans in progress include the Gateway residential hall, construction on People’s Park and a housing complex on Bancroft Way.
The lack of campus housing adversely impacts overall student experience and the ability to recruit postdoctorate students, graduate students and faculty, according to Gibson.
About 20% of postdoctorate students and 15% of graduate students have experienced homelessness during their time at UC Berkeley, according to a 2017 campus housing survey. The survey also reported that many students were concerned about the housing situation, and 47% of postdoctoral students considered leaving UC Berkeley as a result.
“For entering graduate students, the goal is to provide one year of housing availability which will require building approximately 2,750 new beds,” Gibson said in an email. “The Intersection, along with other new housing in various stages of planning and development, will help us reach this goal for graduate students.”