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Old 02-27-2014, 11:43 AM
6 posts, read 18,845 times
Reputation: 10


I feel bad for posting another one of these threads, since I've read through so many others, but my commute situation is somewhat unique, so maybe one or two of you will have some words of wisdom.

I'll be working in Pleasanton during slightly off-peak (and opposite direction) commuting hours of roughly 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. I was in the area a couple weeks ago, and purposely made the drive from Rockridge to Pleasanton around 10, and back a little after 6, and was pleasantly surprised that it took only about 30 minutes each way.

Essentially, I'm working in Pleasanton but as an early-30s single guy who quite likes a more urban landscape, I have no desire to live there. I don't spend wild nights out partying, but like being within reach of good dining and cocktail destinations.

Were commute not an issue, I'd be looking at something closer to the heart of Berkeley/near Cal. Rockridge seems like a workable solution (I do love my Ramen Shop), but there's a dearth of apartments available in my budget (though there is one on CL currently). I could afford up to $2,000/month, but would much prefer to keep it closer to $1,500-$1,600. I don't need much space, and would be perfectly happy in a nicely-located studio. I will need a parking space, which complicates things in some areas.

As background, I grew up in Sacramento and the foothills closer to Tahoe. I worked for five years in San Jose (downtown/near SJSU), and have since lived all over the place, including three years in DC (in the heart of the U Street corridor, and also in Bethesda -- two very opposite residential experiences).

Thoughts/advice? Also considering Alameda... Though that would add a bit of time to the commute, I like the idea of a community feel within easy grasp of the big cities.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:56 AM
Location: Oakland, CA
28,234 posts, read 33,609,678 times
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Berkeley apartments are generally crappy, and expensive. You can look around Elmwood, but I have never seen a nice apartment over there (the Berkeley area north of Rockridge)

The drive to Pleasanton will pretty easy most of the time, 30 minutes almost any time of day, any day of the week. Even in the AM.

I'd recommend Piedmont Avenue area for you. If you live on the West side of the Ave (between Piedmont Ave and roughly Telegraph, into Temescal, between roughly Macarthur and 51st) parking is usually an add on for $50-75 a month. If you live on the east side, towards the Rose Garden, parking is generally included. It is a little quieter, and a bit closer to the freeway, with a hillier walk to the avenue. Almost all of the buildings on this side have garages. The other side has a few buildings without garages, but is closer to the action of Piedmont Ave (which is pretty similar to Rockridge in vibe but a little more diverse)

Pretty good transit, a super quick drive to Rockridge, and loads of apartments. (Also easily bike able or transit able to Rockridge too) Also walkable, although I personally think that if you live on Mariposa, Monte Vista the hill is a little steep when you are walking. )

One bedrooms in the area are roughly $1200-1400. It is a little further from BART.

(I live in this neighborhood FYI, it is .5-1.5 miles from Macarthur or 19th depending on your vantage point. For me, I am 1 mile from MAcarthur, 1.25 from 19th and there is a bus to each within a block of my place. My sister lives closer to Broadway and is 1/2 mile from BART.)

I think transit is just OK, if you care about that. But it is better than 70% of places in the Bay Area....

Street parking can be hit or miss, but I have a garage so it isn't a big issue.

After that, you can move over to the Gran Lake area, which is good, has tons of rentals, parking is harder and rarely included. Or Cleveland Heights, a little bit off the path of transit, but walkable to Lakeshore.

All of these areas are safe, lots of rentals, and lots of young professionals. Close to entertainment and stuff. And if you were to cab it to downtown Oakland, it is a cheap ride home.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:59 AM
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Thanks so much! Sounds like you get exactly what I'm looking for, and several areas here that I hadn't known to consider before. Really appreciate the response.
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:52 PM
Location: State of Transition
91,112 posts, read 87,913,010 times
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I've seen a number of nice rentals in the Elmwood and Rockridge areas. Some are in-law units, nicely done, with gardens. I wouldn't rule out those areas; they're beautiful, convenient to amenities, close to BART and other transit. Definitely worth a look, if there's anything available there at this time. More becomes available after spring semester ends at the university.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:48 PM
Location: Richmond, CA
1,212 posts, read 1,008,743 times
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I have a good friend who commutes from Oakland to Pleasanton. He lives in the Piedmont Avenue area. Check it out. It's comparable to Rockridge in terms of housing stock and neighborhood lifestyle. Also consider the Grand Lake and Adams Point neighborhoods. Grand Lake has a great vibe too and is right off 580, which would make for an easy commute. Adams Point has a high concentration of apartments but is still nice enough, plus some parts of it are walkable to Uptown (great nightlife) and the 19th Street BART Station. Also look into Temescal, which is next to Rockridge and Piedmont Avenue. It's a little more low key and has more of a hipster vibe; just stay north/east of MacArthur BART Station, as the opposite direction is sketchy.
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