Donald Goldmacher 
Member since Dec 17, 2015


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Re: “Berkeley Shows How It's Done

You sound like a cheerleader for this developer and his supporters on the city council. This building was opposed by many in the community for a number of reasons, including the fact it is greenwashing at its worst, it will drive up the cost of living in Berkeley in existing rental properties as those property owners are seeing a chance to make a killing, and there is the real possibility that the Shattuck Cinemas will never be rebuilt.

The loss of these film screens will mean the loss of 275,000-300,000 ticket purchases yearly, and the loss of revenue to downtown businesses who benefit from the foot traffic. So what we get is the loss of affordable entertainment for many who cannot afford other cultural events, and a degradation of our popular cultural offerings in Berkeley. A largely hidden fact is that 60% of the filmgoers actually come from outside Berkeley, because there is no other movie complex showing the range of films one sees at the Shattuck . Perhaps people in Oakland can appreciate this, since with the exception of the Grand Lake and the Piedmont and the Parkway, you don't get to see these titles there.
This hardly constitutes smart development, rather, it is a symptom of a larger trend in the Bay Area that will result in the economic dislocation of many middle class renters and potential buyers who can no longer keep up with the huge amounts of out of state buyers purchasing properties as second homes, and a place to park their excess cash. Even ABAG has pointed out that Berkeley is not building affordable housing, but is intent on building more "market rate" housing for the very few.
Long live "free market" capitalism.

Posted by Donald Goldmacher on 12/17/2015 at 3:39 PM

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