Save Holy Hill
An out-of-town developer has submitted an application to build an absurdly over-sized building project in Berkeley. This developer would like to demolish an entire square 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 friends and neighbors of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley who would like to preserve the unique beauty and spirit of this special place. The Pacific School of Religion is part of a consortium of religious schools which resides in a quiet neighborhood 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 non-profit developer from Evanston, Illinois, to build an enormous luxury senior living complex at this location. This developer would like 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 of which are currently used for student housing -- and replace these structures with a complex enclosed within two gigantic 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. This developer would like to remove the top of the hill by excavating two stories down into the earth, and would like to build 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. It would be an unforgivable mistake and a disgraceful loss for Berkeley to allow this massive structure to replace the top of Holy Hill. Please help us prevent the destruction of this irreplaceable geographical and historical landmark.
OUR MISSION is to stop this development from being built as proposed. The members of SAVE HOLY HILL support Berkeley's goal to provide more affordable senior housing. In fact, the majority of our members are seniors, themselves! This proposed project is NOT going to bring senior housing relief to Berkeley. This is a continued care complex which caters to the very wealthy who have the choice to live anywhere they please. This project is wrong for Berkeley. We oppose the demolition of an entire city block of historically valuable buildings in a residential neighborhood in order to house over 500 new residents in two huge buildings, plus their staff, administrators & guests. We do not think it is right, we do not think it is fair, and we do not think it is wise. We know that The Pacific School of Religion has vowed to its their property, and that this property will be sold and developed in some way -- but we are determined to be a part of that process. The Pacific School of Religion campus is a unique, historic place where people have come for the last 90 years to enjoy tranquility and natural beauty; to meet friends, watch their children play, and to spend peaceful time alone. Times and needs will continue to change, but the need to keep the unique charm and beauty that is Berkeley is timeless. Our mission is to stay smart and keep what is good about Berkeley; to support a vibrant, robust and healthy community which values its history while looking forward into a bright future.