OAKLAND (CBS SF) — A battle is brewing over plans to transform one of the most iconic landmarks in the East Bay, the Claremont Hotel.
Neighbors are getting a chance to sound off on the proposed expansion of the Claremont Hotel and Spa; a plan that would add dozens of condos to the parking lot of the century-old resort nestled in the Oakland-Berkeley hills.
It’s stood as a Berkeley and Oakland landmark since its construction in 1915. Now, new construction has the neighborhood around the Claremont hotel concerned it could change the face and the pace of the place they live
Ruth Shelby lives in the neighborhood and said, “It’s hard to explain why I don’t like it. I just love the old building. Don’t want something brand new right next to it.”
According to documents submitted to Oakland planning and zoning, the Claremont Hotel wants to take out some of the tennis courts and replace them with a new pool.
A 43-unit condominium complex would join the traditional wooden building on the hillside and new special event space would be created.
Despite the drastic difference it could make to the hotel, it hasn’t become a hot topic, yet.
Tanne Lauer president of Rick and Ann’s Restaurant in Oakland said, “I haven’t seen the plans. My concern is the parking and congestion. It doesn’t seem like there’s enough spaces for the increase in membership of the club and for the condominiums.”
Those concerns will likely be highlighted at Wednesday night’s planning and zoning meeting. A local group called, Save the Claremont, has been handing out flyers to urge people to show up and fight against the project.
“I hate to turn down somebody’s idea to make money. It’s not my business. But I hope they don’t do it,” Shelby said.