A small backhoe can be glimpsed inside Cody’s. Photo: Sandy Friedland

The Cody’s building on the corner of Telegraph and Haste has been vacant since the bookstore closed its one-time flagship in 2006.

Berkeleysider Sandy Friedland spotted some work in the building and took the photo on the left, wondering whether something might be resurrected on the site.

Property owner Ken Sarachan, who also owns Rasputin Music and the long-vacant, controversial site on the opposite corner of Telegraph and Haste, could not be reached today. No permit is posted on the exterior. The scale of work looks modest.

A close observer of Telegraph, however, says there is a permit for seismic retrofit for the Cody’s building. There is no known tenant for the site.

If readers know more, tell us in the comments.

Lance Knobel

Lance Knobel (co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine in Britain,...

Join the Conversation


  1. Agreed.  Someday maybe I’ll organize a flash mob of people in rat costumes to walk back & forth in front of the empty vacant lot on the corner. 

  2. Agreed.  Someday maybe I’ll organize a flash mob of people in rat costumes to walk back & forth in front of the empty vacant lot on the corner. 

  3. In my opinion, Ken Sarachan’s seemingly anti-Berkeley antics are ruining the Telegraph area. Keeping the lot across from Amoeba Records empty apparently out of spite, and now buying the Cody’s property out from under a well-performing local bay area business that wanted to open immediately (Brainwash) so he could also leave it empty apparently out of spite are why I will never shop at any business he owns.

    Rasputin’s Records
    Blondie’s Pizza

    Feel free to add to the list.

  4. If he buys some more buildings, he can put up some houses or hotels, and charge double rent for the vacant ones!

  5. Bryan:  Bringing it up to code wouldn’t be triggered by the city – or even probably an owner – as a “just because.”  It’s usually triggered by some other action, like transferring property at sale, or doing another construction project where code upgrades are required to get new C of O, etc.  While I agree this doesn’t mean new tenants necessarily, it is no doubt related to some other construction or real estate action.

  6. Rats deserve accommodations, too.

    (Disclaimer: the opinion expressed in this comment is solely that of its author — reachable by email for verification — for which the author asserts Berkeleyside cannot be held responsible in any way.)

  7. I doubt anything is being done other than maybe bringing it up to some sort of code.  Ken Sarachan will keep it vacant on purpose just to try and spit Amoeba.

  8. It’s quite likely that there’s some work going on for core and shell by base LL so it can either be split into sub-tenant spaces or rented out in its entirety to another tenant or sold to another property investor.  It doesn’t mean anything immediate, just that it will now be more marketable.