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Public Hearing on UC Plan for Sprouts Market, Senior Housing at UC Village

A major UC Berkeley commercial development proposal for a Sprouts Farmers Market and 175 units of senior housing next to University Village in Albany faces key votes by the planning commission Wednesday on the parcel map and design.

Oct. 2, 2013 rendering of Sprouts Farmers Market and a retail building by Lowney Architecture of proposed UC Berkeley development next to University Village in Albany. San Pablo Avenue is on the right. Source: City of Albany
Oct. 2, 2013 rendering of Sprouts Farmers Market and a retail building by Lowney Architecture of proposed UC Berkeley development next to University Village in Albany. San Pablo Avenue is on the right. Source: City of Albany
Prior to a possible vote, the Albany planning commission will hold a public hearing Wednesday night on the proposed UC Berkeley commercial development that would include a Sprouts Farmers Market and 175 units of senior housing next to University Village in Albany.

The meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission could be a major step in approving a project that has been the subject of city-university planning and negotiations for many years in various forms. The meeting agenda includes approval of the tentative parcel map and design review.

Also on the agenda is a proposed Ales Unlimited craft beer store at 1501 Solano Ave., across the street from Safeway. It would be the second Ales Unlimited after the original one in San Francisco.

The university's development plan had to be revised after the previous anchor grocer, Whole Foods, pulled out last year following long delays and legal opposition.

The development is a UC proposal for 6.3 acres of its property located in two parcels, on both sides of Monroe Street, between San Pablo and University Village. 

The lot on the north side of Monroe would contain the 27,500-square-foot Sprouts market and a smaller retail building. The lot on the south side of Monroe would contain a 4-story senior housing building and another retail complex. 

An environmental impact report on UC commercial development of the site received City Council approval in July 2012. The plan at that time did not include Sprouts.

The city has a special web page devoted to the "University Village Retail Mixed Use Project," with links to the detailed plans submitted by the university, the environmental impact review documents and staff reports up to mid-2012.

The planning commission meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

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