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New housing coming to Ashby and North Berkeley BART stations

North Berkeley BART station, outside.jpg
Dan Brekke
/
Flickr / Creative Commons
North Berkeley BART station

BART officials approved a memorandum of agreement with the City of Berkeley last Thursday regarding the planned development of thousands of new housing units at the Ashby and North Berkeley BART stations.

The agreement sets out details for how BART and the city will collaborate, as the city takes steps to build 12-story apartment buildings on land adjacent to each BART station.

The two buildings are part of the city's efforts to meet California’s housing goals, which include the need to build some two-and-a-half million new homes statewide by the end of 2030.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín told BART’s board that the goal is to see housing built at these two stations within 10 years, as the community grapples with a shortage of affordable housing.

The city and BART have committed to a minimum of 35 percent affordable units at the two buildings. However, two weeks ago at a Berkeley City Council meeting, some community members voiced concerns that the addition of market-rate housing would cause continued displacement in the neighborhood – hearkening back to the Ashby station’s initial construction in the heart of a majority Black neighborhood some 50 years ago.

Raphael Cohen is part of KALW's Summer Journalism Training Program and produces work for Crosscurrents.