One of the prime issues confronting the residents of North Albany is the Creekside Walk condominium development that is in the final approval stages. This will be 128 condo units in the parking lot of the El Cerrito Plaza shopping center (back by JoAnns). While the development seems to have some attractive features, including restoring a section of the creek, it also is certain to add a lot of traffic to Albany’s residential streets (especially Evelyn, Talbot, and Cornell).
According to the El Cerrito Planning Department
Creekside Walk is a 128-unit condominium development proposed for an existing surface parking area located in the southeast portion of the El Cerrito Plaza shopping center. The 3-plus acre Project site borders the City of Albany to the south.
The proposed 128 unit development would consist of two separate condominium buildings that total approximately 211,596 gross square feet. The Project includes two three-story buildings above single level podium parking garages. The proposed development would range in height from 45 to 59 feet. The North Building would consist of 48 units and South Building would consist of 80 units. The proposal includes 3 studios, 60 1-bedroom, 59 2-bedroom, and 6 3-bedroom units. Vehicles would access the parking garages via a central driveway on the western edge of the two buildings, with access both from the southern and northern side of the South Building, and from the western side of the North Building. (See 2007 Approved Plans.)
As part of the proposed Project, an approximately 60 foot wide by 180 feet long portion of Cerrito Creek, currently culverted, would be daylighted and restored to a natural condition. In addition to daylighting this creek corridor, the applicant would provide a pedestrian path and a bike path that would connect to the Ohlone Greenway to the east. The restored channel would be designed to support a native riparian plant corridor, provide habitat, and stabilize the banks.
The project received CEQA and entitlement approvals in 2006- 2007 and had been on hold due to the recession. In August 2013, the applicant submitted for building permits. Community Development and Public Works Department staff are currently reviewing the project submittal and working with the applicant to ensure that project conditions of approval are met prior to issuance of building permits.