Redevelopment Project for University Village

$120 Million Plan for Albany Site

by Fran Marsh

A $120 million redevelopment is planned for University Village student housing complex in Albany over the next several years. The 920-unit complex provides low-cost housing for student families. Slated for replacement or renovation are 420 units of World War II-era housing, 500 units built during the 1960s and the village community center. "We are very excited about this project, which will improve the housing and quality of life for our students while enhancing the surrounding area," said Genaro Padilla, vice chancellor for undergraduate affairs.

The project will be funded by revenue bonds backed by housing rental fees, leasing of commercially zoned land fronting San Pablo Ave. and funds from sales of nearby acreage. No state or private funds will be used.

On Dec. 15, three designs were presented by Campus Planning Director Tom Lollini at the village's community center gymnasium.

Each proposal included a master plan for the entire replacement program and architectural plans for the first phase. The master plan envisions development of community-wide recreation amenities including youth sports fields, creek restoration and bikeways.

The winning proposal from the J. R. Roberts Corp. teamed with Davis & Joyce Architects and Fisher-Friedman Associates will be presented to the UC Board of Regents at its March 19-20 meeting. Construction of the $55 million first phase is slated to begin in 1998, with completion of some 390 units scheduled for the year 2000.

The Roberts proposal calls for the new village site to be designed as a series of spaces that transition from the most public to the most private. It incorporates a variety of landscaped and recreational areas ranging from public pedestrian trails and activity sites to neighborhood greens and cluster courtyards to private decks and patios.

A network of linear greenways connects open spaces throughout the site and links the neighborhoods to the village commons and to the community parks and creeks that ring the site-the Albany/

Berkeley pathway to the north, Dowling Park to the west and Cordonices Creek to the south.

Located along the greenways are larger, more defined places for recreational activities.


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