Welcome to Save Holy Hill
An out-of-town developer has submitted an application to build an absurdly over-sized project in North Berkeley. This developer proposes to demolish an entire city block in the most historic residential neighborhood in Berkeley to make way for a gargantuan luxury senior living complex which will rival Memorial Stadium in size.
Don't let Berkeley make this titanic mistake!
Save Holy Hill is a group of friends and neighbors of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley who want to preserve the unique beauty and spirit of this special place. The Pacific School of Religion (PSR) is part of a consortium of religious schools called the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) that reside in a quiet part of Berkeley called Northside, just north of the UC Berkeley campus. This part of the neighborhood (the hill) is locally referred to as "Holy Hill."
The Pacific School of Religion (PSR) has now, to the great surprise of much of the neighborhood, decided to sell off most of their campus which sits on the top of this hill, and includes a large plaza and a beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay. PSR has entered into a contract with Mather Lifeways, a developer from Evanston, Illinois, to build an enormous luxury senior living complex at this location. This developer intends to demolish the entire block which sits between Virginia, Arch, Le Conte & Scenic Streets, with the exception of one school building which PSR will keep, and one single-family home which is privately owned.
This developer proposes to demolish 19 buildings, including some of significant historic value, and 15 which are currently used for student housing -- replacing these structures with two very large institutional buildings containing 265 apartments, a 3-floor memory care unit, a restaurant, spa, gym, and an end-of-life care unit. One of these buildings will be, by far, the largest building ever to be built in the City of Berkeley, rivaling Memorial Stadium in size.
The plan calls for the removal of the top of the hill by excavating two stories down into the earth, and the erection of a structure 10 stories high at its tallest. The size of this structure is monstrous and mind-boggling. We feel that this project is drastically out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood, a structure whose purpose will not serve the people of Berkeley, and a desecration of the hill itself -- of the landscape and the homes around it. Simply put, it would be a horrible mistake and an irreversible loss for Berkeley to allow this massive structure to replace the top of Holy Hill.
Please help us prevent the annihilation of this irreplaceable geographical and historical landmark. Please get involved and stop this massive structure from being built as proposed.