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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

NEW GARAGE OPENS, SETS TONE FOR THE DOWNTOWN
Design and policy make it easier to visit area no matter how you travel

Berkeley, California (Thursday, November 01, 2018) - The City of Berkeley's new downtown parking garage grabs attention for dozens of features - including space for 720 cars and 350 bikes, a striking design for night and day, rooftop solar, and rainwater collection gardens.

 2018-11-1 Center Street Garage Green TowerMost importantly, the Center Street Garage opening Friday Nov. 2 will play a critical role in allowing more people to visit and stay downtown whether they arrive by foot, bike, car or mass transit.

  • Parking in the garage will be cheaper and for longer hours than highly sought-after curbside spaces nearby - where pricing encourages turnover, increased parking availability and fewer circling cars in search of spaces.
  • Inside the garage, a network of camera sensors inform signs outside the garage that announce how many spaces are available. Inside, those sensors direct patrons to the locations of those spots. That, too, means less circling - and tailpipe emissions.
  • By increasing the parking at the site by 71 percent over the previous 420-space garage built in the 1950s, the Center Street Garage also creates possibilities to transform streets into more uses for people, such as expanded sidewalks, parklets and bike lanes as identified in the City Council policy known as the Streets and Open Space Improvement Plan .

2018-11-1 Center Street Garage Parklet Bike"The garage is a powerful tool to more efficiently manage parking space and enliven one of the Bay Area's most frequented downtowns," said Farid Javandel, the City's Transportation Manager. "This helps us better design streets and sidewalks to include all the types of travelers through our City, regardless of whether you drive."

The garage was built for easy entry and exit. The double-helix structure means that patrons can enter from either Center or Addison streets on ramps that never intersect - but allow crossover on odd-numbered floors. Gates can be set to maximize flow inwards or out. As a result, the eight-story building can more quickly clear all 720 spaces.

"This is a once in a generation project," said Dee Williams-Ridley, Berkeley's City Manager. "It establishes a pillar in the vitality of our downtown, one that allows our community and guests to come together more easily no matter how they visit 2018-11-1 Center Street Garage Red Lightsthe area."

The $38 million construction cost pays for itself. It's funded by a bond that will be repaid through future parking revenues. The 3.25% average interest rate on the bond was made possible by the City's AA bond rating.

The color scheme on the inside and the outside dictate the wayfinding inside. The garage is red inside and out on the side of Addison Street, which is rich in theaters and performing arts. The garage is green on the Center Street side, which faces Berkeley City College. Color-coded paint-schemes on the floors and walls lead people to elevators and stairs for the side they want to enter or exit.

The City's transportation focus on including all types of travelers extends to our garage, which will have nearly 300 valet bike parking spaces, the largest such facility in Northern California. The garage also has an additional 55 spaces for secured bike parking that's accessible 24/7 with a passcard.

The garage's bike services - which include a BART Bike Station and bike repair equipment - is part of a larger effort to build out the City's bicycling infrastructure. In recent years, the city has built a corridor of bike lanes surrounding the campus as well as building out the East Bay's first bike share network, Ford GoBike.

The garage has a number of other features: a space for dynamic art exhibits to be viewed from three sides, a café, high quality public bathrooms and electric vehicle charging for 19 spaces and wiring for up to 38 more as demand increases.

All of the features in this quintessentially Berkeley building speak to the fact that we, as a City, strive to serve many needs. While those many visible aspects draw attention, we know that the Center Street Garage also powerfully serves its core function - helping more people come to and stay in our downtown.

Center Street Garage
Enter via Center or Addison streets, between Milvia and Shattuck.
Hours of Operation:

  • Monday - Friday:  5:15 am to 12 am
  • Saturdays:             7 am to 12 am
  • Sundays:               12 pm to 12 am

Rates as of Nov. 2, 2018:

  • Hourly:                $3/hour for first 4 hours only, then jumps to $25.00 daily flat rate.
  • Daily:                    $25. Enter at/after 5:15a.m. Exit by 12:00 a.m.)
  • Early Bird:          $15. Enter before 9 a.m. Exit by 6 p.m.
  • Monthly:              $250
  • Evening:             $8. Enter after 5pm

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