Alta Bates is expanding. So is Safeway

Just a quick notice for two upcoming community meetings that area residents might want to attend.

Those living in the Broadway/Pill Hill/HarriOak area may want to catch tonight’s community meeting on the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center expansion. Just like Kaiser, Alta Bates is going to be rebuilding to meet the State’s new seismic safety standards, and the new facility will be bigger – an 11 story tower and a 7 story parking garage will be part of the rebuild. Environmental Impact studies have begun, and at tonight’s meeting, you will get a chance to see and comment on the proposed design. The meeting takes place from 6:30 – 7:30 at the Summit Campus. Providence Pavilion (Building 4) Family Resource Center Conference Room, 1st Floor, 3100 Summit Street (near Hawthorne Avenue). Hopefully this map will help you make some sense of all that.

I know it’s super short notice, so if you can’t make it tonight, don’t worry. You’ll have another chance next Wednesday, April 22nd, when the new hospital will be at the Planning Commission’s Design Review Committee (PDF). That meeting will begin at 5:30 PM at City Hall.

Oh, and looking a little further ahead, the following Wednesday, April 29th, will be another College Avenue Safeway meeting. Becks has been covering the Safeway saga pretty thoroughly, so click through some of those links if you want more detail, but the short version is that the neighbors hated the old design so Safeway scrapped it, got anew architect (one who lives in the neighborhood), and will be unveiling their new design proposal at the meeting on the 29th. The meeting will take place from 7 to 9 PM and is annoyingly located at the Claremont Hotel. Mark your calendars!

Oh, and if you don’t live near Pill Hill but desperately want to go to a meeting tonight, you might want to consider heading over to Dimond Library (3565 Fruitvale Avenue) for the MGO Democratic Club meeting, 7:30-9:00. Loni Hancock will be on hand to discuss the Propositions on the special election ballot May 19.

16 thoughts on “Alta Bates is expanding. So is Safeway

  1. Becks

    I don’t know why V thinks it’s annoying, but I can think of a few reasons:

    1. It’s in Berkeley!
    2. It’s not walkable for many of us who live in the neighborhood of Safeway – the past meetings have all been just a few blocks away from Safeway.
    3. The buses that go there (7 and 9) are infrequent and unreliable.

  2. Steve R

    The Claremont Hotel is in Oakland. They went through the Oakland Planning Dept. when they had an extensive remodel and they pay taxes to Oakland.

  3. Art

    Someone finally explained that to me recently—the hotel (and a bunch of the houses behind it) are all in (or mostly in) Oakland, but have Berkeley addresses as a legacy of old postal service policy—the feeder roads to deliver the mail are in Berkeley, and thus mail had to be routed through the Berkeley post office, so the properties got Berkeley mailing addresses. All very weird.

    And in defense of the poor #9, which I used to take to work—it’s stupidly routed and frustratingly infrequent, but it does generally show up when they say it will, though that doesn’t help much if you’re coming from the Safeway surrounds. Still, I agree—not a hot location choice given the project site….ah, well. (I assume they chose it for the size, too.)

  4. Chris Kidd

    I’d assume they chose the Claremont to accomodate the super huge crowd of Rockridge folks that are going to want to weigh in on the project. Almost every previous meeting writeup that Becks has done mentions how over-crowded the venues were.

  5. Justin Horner

    1) The Claremont is in Oakland and pays taxes in Oakland. It is on the border, or splits the border. Yes, the area has some Oaklanders with Berkeley addresses, but the real reason is that the Claremont did not want to have Oakland as an address. They prefer Berkeley, for image’s sake.

    2) The location is annoying because there’s no way to conveniently get up there. There are about three schools nearby that could accommodate the crowd. I can’t help but think they’re hoping for low turnout (note: I don’t oppose the expansion).

  6. Becks

    I didn’t realize that the Claremont was in Oakland – the city borders in that area are so confusing!

    You’re right Chris – the past meetings have been very crowded and they probably did need somewhere larger. I just wish it wasn’t so inconveniently located, but that won’t stop me from attending.

    And Justin – I think the two school locations they’ve used for the past meetings are too small for this meeting, though I’m not sure about the third.

  7. We Fight Blight

    In the previous meetings regarding Safeway, there has been a persistent yet disingenious effort by some residents to cast the remake of Safeway as being out of scale and out of character to the rest of Rockridge. However, when you look at the surrounding commercial/residential buildings immediately across from Safeway along College and Claremont Avenues there could be nothing further from the truth as those structures are 2-4 stories in height. In addition, the residential structures immediately behind Safeway are predominantly 2 stories in height. If you consider lot coverage, the vast majority of commercial/residenital buildings along College Avenue in Rockridge have substantial lot coverage (75-100%). It would be helpful to have others show up and speak to provide a counter balance to the misinformation campaign propagated by these vocal residents who are opposed to the Safeway expansion.

  8. Ralph

    very exciting to see about Pill Hill. I was over there the over day and would love to see that area become a nice medical campus as they perform safety upgrades

  9. Born in Oakland

    I have seen the plans for the Alta Bates Summit project and they are very impressive. At this point, the State requires construction to be completed by January 2013 (dates set before the economy crashed). I once experienced an 4.2 earthquake while standing in the existing parking structure at Merritt Hospital and if that ever happens to me again it had better be in a new and seismically improved structure….scary.

  10. mark

    If the Claremont was really in Berkeley, Berkeley would have shut it years ago for catering to the rich and their “anti union” position.

    Fortunately, they are in Oakland paying Oakland taxes.

  11. V Smoothe Post author

    Wow! I’m away from my computer for one day and look what happens. For the record, I called the Claremont Hotel an annoying location because of accessibility, and my paranoid side suspects that Justin is correct about the low turnout.

  12. elisabeth jewel

    I am Safeway’s community affairs consultant for the College/Claremont rebuild and am organizing the community meeting at the Claremont.

    The reason the meeting is at the Claremont Hotel is to accomodate expected crowds but also because of the availability of high quality audio visual equipment needed to show the new design properly.

    We recognize it’s a little harder to get to so we are offering three hours of free parking during the meeting.

  13. elisabeth jewel

    That’s true. I hope we get a little credit for the 9 neighbor meetings so far at schools and churches and a few living rooms– all in Rockridge. The next meetings will be at City Hall.