Pricey Hotel Could Be Rare Berkeley “Skyscraper”

$100 million, 16-story Shattuck Ave. hotel would change city's feel.

To change downtown Berkeley, all you need is $100 million.

That's the price tag to build one of the famously-stodgy East Bay city's few allowed downtown-area skyscraper, a 180-foot hotel project that could replace a one-story Bank of America on Shattuck Avenue.

The San Francisco Business Times reports that the 12-story, 297-room hotel doesn't yet have a tenant, and that the planning process has yet to begin in earnest. But for now, there "are no real pushbacks," a project sponsor told the newspaper.

Construction could begin in early 2015 -- that is, if "reticent" neighborhors can be won over. The same with a picky design review board that took issue with the building's entrance facade.

Jim Didion and Center Street Partners LLC are the main backers of the hotel. Only three highrises are allowed in the area under the 2012 Downtown Area Plan, the newspaper reported.

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