Considering buying real estate in Berkeley’s Fourth Street? Also known as the Ocean View neighborhood, Fourth Street offers a unique urban environment. Best known for its upscale shopping district, Fourth Street also displays a rich history of artist communities mixed in with local industry and gentrification.
West Berkeley’s Fourth Street neighborhood extends from University Avenue and Gilman to below San Pablo Avenue and the Bayshore. The Fourth Street neighborhood borders on Emeryville to the south and Albany to the north. In addition to immediate freeway access, there’s an Amtrak station, several AC Transit stops and the North Berkeley Bart is within walking distance.
Ambling through the Fourth Street neighborhood, you can find top rate restaurants and Berkeley’s most expensive boutiques. Some residents move here for the shopping, others for the easy access to water sports. There’s the lagoon at Aquatic Park for rowing and waterskiing as well as trails that meander through the Berkeley Marina and the Eastshore State Park. Fourth Street has a look, feel and style that’s quintessentially Berkeley. Walking past the iconic restaurant Spengers and the many boutiques to get deeper into the Fourth Street neighborhood, you’ll discover warehouses used by artists since the 70s, sitting alongside turn of the century Victorian houses, bungalows and contemporary-style renovations. Many consider this “mixed-use” quality as part of Fourth Street’s unique charm.
Home prices in the Fourth Street area range from an entry level of the mid $600’s to pricing out at $1 million. Schools in the Fourth Street residential area include Washington Elementary, Rosa Parks Elementary, Martin Luther King Middle School, and The Berkeley School, a progressive independent school, serving preschool – 8th grade.
4th Street- from industry to artists and shoppers Captain James Jacobs, originally a gold-seeker who saw the opportunity to become instead a sea merchant to San Francisco’s ports, anchored here in 1853. Building a wharf, he set forth to establish the area as the first of the founding communities of Berkeley and a vital center of commerce and industry. Over time, the Fourth Street area evolved into a working class neighborhood while also attracting artists in the ’70s seeking to take up low-rent residence in renovated warehouses. Single family homes on small lots reflect the time period of their development in the 1800’s, predominantly of bungalow and Victorian design, while renovation and gentrification of industrial space pushes through.