2920 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705
Meridian renovates 16,000 SF out-dated downtown building to state-of-the art MOB.
Meridian purchased a +16,000 SF out-dated medical office building constructed in 1971 with the goal of transforming the structure into a fresh and modern building that would be desirable to health care providers in the affluent downtown area of Berkeley, CA. Meridian was faced with numerous challenges throughout renovation including overcoming obstacles due to the age of the building, working with the City of Berkeley, and dealing with strict parking requirements. Meridian used its creative thinking and adaptable design approach to successfully convert the building into a gorgeous medical office facility approved and embraced by the City and it’s neighbors.
One of Meridian’s client’s ceased operations at their 16,000 SF Berkeley outpatient clinic (not originally developed by Meridian). The client approached Meridian to see if they were interested in acquiring the property, which was in desperate need of a massive redesign as the original design was out-dated, in poor condition and no longer up to medical codes. Given the great location in an affluent neighborhood near downtown Berkeley, close proximity to a major medical campus (Sutter), a low cost basis, and improving market conditions, Meridian decided to pursue the property. Meridian’s strategy was to perform a façade upgrade and clean up the interior space, then tenant the building with a single healthcare user.
When Meridian began construction they were faced with 3 main challenges. The first challenge was the age of the building. Meridian knew this would be an obstacle when they bought the building but after construction was underway this issue became even more of a roadblock. Secondly, in order to maintain the Medical Conditional Use Permit, Meridian had to provide 10 parking stalls on a long term basis, tricky to achieve in a downtown setting. Lastly, the second floor overhangs on the existing project encroached on public access, so Meridian had to work closely with a busy City department to get approvals on a timely manner.
To deal with the age of the building, Meridian abandoned its plan to simply upgrade the façade and clean up the interior. Instead, Meridian decided to take the building back to the studs and start over in order to meet the demands and challenges seen from today’s medical users. In order to provide sufficient parking, Meridian had to convert half of the ground floor into parking. Essentially, Meridian moved the parking lot inside the building which created a covered parking lot accessible via a stylish roll-up door. Meridian held numerous meetings with both the City and the surrounding neighbors to garnish support for its proposed improvements and was ultimately able to get all stakeholders on board for the project.
Despite a host of challenges, Meridian completed this project on time and on budget. The project transformed an extremely out-dated building into a beautiful state of the art medical clinic. The new clinic, still owned by Meridian, is one of the largest contiguous spaces along Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley that is now approved for medical use. This is a great example of a valuable location for healthcare providers: convenient location for patients, near public transportation, and in a position for excellent branding opportunities. The building is now leased by BayChildren’s Medical Group, (BCMG) is a professional medical corporation whose primary purpose is to provide professional medical services at medical facilities operated by, or contracted with UCSF Benioff Children’s Physicians.