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Co-Op's Lease up for 30-Year Extension

The Berkeley Student Cooperative (BSC) filed for a 30-year extension Oct. 12 of its lease with the UC for the Rochdale Apartments, the largest cooperative in the 24-house system at UC Berkeley.

The lease for the 259-person structure is slated to end at the end of the spring semester. Though the apartments are owned and operated by the BSC, they stand on land owned by the UC Board of Regents. If the lease is not renewed by May, the building and land "reverts" back to the university, said Jan Stokley, executive director for the Berkeley Student Cooperative.

Talks between the BSC and campus capital projects are expected to start later in the year as a precursor to a final lease agreement that must be approved by the regents, Stokley said. The cooperative currently pays $1 per year for use of the land.

BSC President Palmer Buchholz said she thinks negotiations will go well.

"I think that our organization that was founded 76 years ago has a strong working relationship with the UC," she said.

Rochdale is one of four cooperatives located on university land. Though Cloyne Court and The Convent cooperatives are completely owned by the university, Rochdale and Fenwick Apartments are owned by BSC, which leases the land from the regents.

In July 2005, the university extended the Cloyne lease by 30 years for $1 annually, said Christine Shaff, campus communications manager for facilities services.

Rochdale Apartments Manager Andrea Banuelos, a UC Berkeley graduate, said the cooperative wants to make sure rent costs stay low for its residents, 80 percent of whom are in the Educational Opportunity Program.

"We are organizing the community to gain their support," she said. "How it is going to unfold is based on how the talks go."

-Javier Panzar


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