New Sketches Show Plans for University Village Whole Foods, Senior Housing

The Sustainability Committee looked at the architectural plans, completed in September, Wednesday night.

A presentation to the about proposed development offered an update Wednesday night on what many say is much-needed senior housing in Albany, along with the west side's only planned grocery store. 

No action was taken at the meeting, though committee members and members of the public asked a number of questions about the scope of the project and plans for how it would be sustainable.

Albany planner Jeff Bond said the city is getting close to releasing a new draft of the Environmental Impact Report that details the affect the project is likely to have in the neighborhood.

Bond said an audio recording of the Nov. 18 meeting would be available to the public. 

The grocery segment of the plans is known around town as the "," though the drawings describe the business simply as "Market."

A University of California, Berkeley, representative confirmed Wednesday that UC has signed a lease with Whole Foods Market to run the space.

The market, over 2.5 acres, is designed to have a total square footage of 55,000, with 211 parking spaces (including 100 in a garage and 107 in a lot).

The other half of the project is a mixed-use development, also on 2.5 acres, including 185 senior units on five stories. It includes about 14,600 square foot in retail space and would have a 240-space garage.

The university said last night that it has not found a builder for the housing, but plans to target developers familiar with this specialized type of housing.

Francis Chapman November 18, 2010 at 06:55 PM
I am very happy to see a Whole Foods coming to West Albany. It will be convenient to have a grocery closer by, and the tax revenues accruing to our city and schools should be significant. Student housing at University Village is fully tax-exempt because it is part of the core educational mission for the University, but this commercial, non-core use of the land makes it subject to property and parcel taxes.
Catherine Stern November 18, 2010 at 06:58 PM
Agreed! I'm for just about anything that brings tax revenues into Albany and have been incredibly frustrated/disappointed/disgusted by our City Counsel's road blocks to businesses.
Del Price November 18, 2010 at 10:52 PM
The senior housing was described as assisted-one with services on site. Look forward to hearing more on this when its presented to Planning and Zoning.
rebecca January 12, 2011 at 04:00 PM
I was wondering how long it would take UCB to add more buildings .When they cut down the trees they said it would stay a meadow.I knew it would not take long ,so they can make more money,and using seniors as a excuse to get there way. It should be a big park for the kids at the village and Albany kids also. Albany never kept there promise to make there park off Washington street like they promised years ago. If they get there way senior will not be able to afford to live there. Unless they make it very very cheap. like $800,00 for a one bedroom.
Emilie Raguso January 13, 2011 at 02:46 AM
I posted an updated story today: http://patch.com/A-dm0B. There was extensive talk last night about the senior housing, mostly in relation to how it's going to be the only modern assisted living facility around... The university does seem resistant to talking about the affordable aspect of this. I'm not really clear on what's required in or by the city, and how/if this project would have to comply in some way.


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