The urban noise level has been raised a notch a block south of the UC Berkeley campus as the grind and roar of big excavators and trucks make ready for a five-story building that will include dorm housing suitable for students, a church hall and parking.
The building site belongs to St. Mark's Episcopal Church and formerly housed a lower-level 49-space parking garage topped by a school building, a church building and an open space. The site is next door to the church and also to the landmark Berkeley City Club, designed by Julia Morgan.
The new 52-foot-tall building will be considerably taller than the previous structures on the site and have a 59-space parking garage on the ground floor, a church community facility on the podium level (above the garage) and four stories containing what city planners call "group living accommodations" (student dormitory).
The project was met with some oppositon and was approved by the City Council on appeal in May. The city staff report to the council contains details about the project and the appeal.