NX Ventures has unveiled the exterior of a 207-unit apartment building in Berkeley.

The Berkeley-based developer has moved forward with plans for the eight-story complex at 1598 University Avenue, The San Jose Mercury News reports.

The building will replace two commercial buildings, including a pizza restaurant and a Chinese language center, as well as parking lots at University Avenue and California Street, one mile from the UC Berkeley campus.

Plans call for a 134,400-square-foot building with 149 studios, 20 one-bedrooms and 38 two-bedrooms, According to SF Yimby. The project is seeking a 50% density bonus in exchange for affordable housing.

Of its 207 units, 30 or 31 apartments will be set aside as affordable housing for very low-income tenants, the Mercury News reported.

Along the street, the building will include 5,900 square feet of shops and restaurants, including a cafe and “beverage shop,” according to the Mercury News. A parking lot can accommodate 39 cars and 82 bicycles.

The ground floor will include a club room and fitness center, as well as a 6,300-square-foot courtyard garden.

The Caramel and Putty project, designed by Trachtenberg Architects, will be clad in insulated metal panels and include rows of vertical windows, each topped with a horizontal awning, according to renderings. A large mural will rise above the café.

NX Ventures purchased the three parcels at 1548-1598 University Avenue for $5 million in September 2021, According to the San Francisco Business Times. An apartment building it developed three blocks east of 1812 University primarily houses students.

NX has submitted plans for another 28-story apartment building At 1998 Garter Avenue. The 317-foot building is the tallest building in town and was also designed by Trachtenberg Architects.

The NX-Trachtenberg duo are also behind a 16-story apartment building Planned at 2420 Shattuck Avenueand a 221-unit project with shop and restaurant space in 2920 Garter Avenue.

Berkeley’s central core proposes six buildings ranging from 16 to 28 stories, and state legislation makes it easier for developers to build residential towers whether the city wants them or not.

— Dana Bartholomew

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