• Berkeley’s “Gourmet Ghetto”

    In 2012 I fell in love with this 1920’s building that housed a Vegetarian Chinese restaurant and vacant apartment upstairs. When it hit the market, I saw a great opportunity and moved quickly. Beyond the attractive qualities of the building, the value was in the fact that it could be used for a restaurant; North Berkeley has a quota in place for food uses, making this grandfathered use a coveted slot in the neighborhood known affectionately as the “Gourmet Ghetto.” I saw further value in the underutilized large, outdoor garden so I quickly applied for an outdoor seating permit. Without even placing a sign on the property, I secured a long term lease with a wonderful restaurant tenant who has a terrific vision for the property. The building underwent dramatic improvements, and today is a wonderful example of creative, urban renewal.