May 1 marks the re-launching of a neighborhood — and a chance to celebrate lots of new happenings in the Lorin district, Berkeley’s lowest income, most economically depressed neighborhood, where over 30% of residents live below the poverty line.

The Adeline Street Merchants Association is setting up shop again. Soon to open is the Ed Roberts Campus, an international center for people with disabilities (rendered above — it doesn’t quite look like that yet, but it’s nearly there). Also on the cards: a new bookstore and a new Addie’s Pizza Pie restaurant.

To mark the event Youth Spirit Artworks is holding an unveiling for its city-funded youth art window banner exhibit “Visions of the Soul”, with 40 art banners covering vacant and under-beautified South Berkeley storefronts.

The unveiling will be held on Saturday May 1 from 12:30pm to 1pm and at 3308 Adeline Street, just south of the intersection of Adeline and Alcatraz Avenue, and will feature youth speakers, hip hop music, snacks and refreshments, merchants, Berkeley City Council Members Max Anderson and Darryl Moore, and City Economic Development Director Michael Caplan.

For more information contact: 510-282-0396 or visit Youth Spirits Artworks online.

Tracey Taylor

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...

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8 Comments

  1. Thanks for the update, Susan! It is all very exciting. When I came home from work today, I noticed a lovely row of trees/plants up on a terrace of some sort. 🙂

    As a neighbor, I am really looking forward to the well-lit, beautifully-landscaped parking lot (and building, of course). And thanks to whomever put up the lights on Woolsey a few months back – they really improved the whole “this street is really dark and sort of unprotected” feeling, and I know that the new building will only make the area feel safer. For me, anyway.

  2. Thank you to Tracey for the ERC mention and to Kim for the nice words. I’m biased, but I think the building is wonderful, inside and outside. I know the neighborhood was apprehensive (it is a big development), but I hope we’ve overcome doubts. Concerning the website, I agree that we fell flat with our updates. We had good intentions of sending out construction updates and keeping the content on the ERC website more up-to-date, but our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, so to speak. You can always use the email link on the website to contact us.

    The core building construction will be completed at the end of May and our tenant improvements will be starting in June and completed in late August/early September. We’re excited to be moving into the building in September. We all wish it were sooner. If you have questions you can always contact me (shenderson@dredf.org) or Dmitri Belser (dbelser@cforat.org). Best, Susan Henderson, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

  3. I own knit-one-one—an arts and crafts studio on Adeline near Sweet Adeline Bakeshop. We have monthly craft sales featuring 12 local crafters—each month the line-up is different. OUr next sale is on May 1—the same day as the Youth Spirit Artworks celebration! So a lot happening in our sweet Adeline neighborhood.

    May Magic Craft Sale, 10 to 4 (3360 Adeline)

  4. I resent the description of my neighborhood as “Berkelely’s lowest income most economically depressed, over 30% of residents below the poverty line.”

    Why no mention of the lovely historic architecture, neighborhood friendliness and diversity or vibrant arts in the Lorin District? We’ve got families, singles, gay, straight, young and old, many races and cultures. We’ve got the Ashby Stage, Starry Plough, La Pena, Bellisima Day Spa, Sweet Adeline’s Bakery, and much more.

    Many budding artists live and work here in Lorin as do many students. Most students do not have large incomes for obvious reasons. We also have affordable housing projects which help seniors and the disabled live comfortably.

    Please use a more balanced description when describing my neighborhood. I realize some organizations who appeal for grant and aid money want to highlight the negative. I believe a positive attitude and pride are empowering.

    Robin Wright

  5. I live across the street from the Ed Roberts Campus, and I am just thrilled that it is almost ready! The original completion date was listed as “Spring 2010”, and it looks like they might actually make deadline – a rarity in the construction business, but a blessing to those of us who live in the neighborhood. 🙂 It is really looking gorgeous, and the BART parking lot East of Adeline is actually open for business again! (though I think you have to park and walk across the street; it doesn’t appear that the Eastern side of the BART station is actually accessible yet)

    I just wish that the Ed Roberts Campus website was updated more frequently! I signed up for construction email updates and have not received a single one over the last year and a half, and the “Community Update” haven’t been updated since 2008.

    Regardless, I’m excited about this new building and the positive effects it is likely to have on our neighborhood.