Chic Condo Versus Shabby Shop: The March of the New Wins Out


I love the eclecticism of Berkeley’s architecture, much of which pre-dates World War II, but sometimes, as I peruse the luscious photos of San Francisco’s glitzy new condos, next door at Anna’s or at Curbed SF (above), I yearn for some of that contemporary polish to rub off on my blog.

So then to San Pablo Avenue where many condo developments are in the planning stages or in the throes of construction.

San Pablo runs north to south in parallel to the Bay and takes in Albany, Emeryville and Oakland, as well as Berkeley. It’s a mix of the rough and the smooth with some great stores, restaurants and upscale housing, as well as some less salubrious spots and countless smog check centers (this is the city’s Auto Row).

Although new condos may be needed and welcomed by many, they are unfortunately cutting a swathe through some of the few remaining buildings of architectural note on the avenue.


The former 1800 San Pablo Avenue (left) and 2747 San Pablo. Photos by Daniella Thompson.

In a couple of wonderfully evocative pieces, BAHA‘s Daniella Thompson reports on the departure, and imminent demise, of two beautiful mid-century roadside buildings — the 1930s Japanese Flower Nursery (above left) at 1800 San Pablo which sadly is no longer; and 2747 San Pablo (above right) which is currently used as a medical cannabis dispensary but will soon be replace with a “green mixed use housing development”.

If this doesn’t put you off, check out these three new projects on San Pablo Avenue:

1406 San Pablo Avenue: 1/1.5 986 sq ft loft-style, bi-level condo with “imported granite” and “imported German bathtub”. Price: $586,000.


1406 San Pablo Avenue #B: 2/1.5 1,175 sq ft end-unit in the same complex as above with private deck and Bay views (pictured above). Price: $598,000.

6501 San Pablo Avenue: 2/1.5 1,317 sq ft condo with deeded garage, private balcony and “European cabinetry”. Price: $509,000.