Living in Ocean View/Fourth Street
Archived Q&A and Reviews
In our transition to Berkeley, we are considering renting at 4th and U apartments until we find a permanent home. However, we're concerned about whether this would be an ok place to live with children, given that it would be mostly single people/couples and that some reviews have said that it is 'sketchy.' Does anyone have first-hand experience with these apartments and an opinion about whether it would be ok for around 3-6 months with children? Almost there in Berkeley!
My fifth grader, young dog, and I just started renting a large 1 bedroom (April 9th) at 4th and really like it so far. We switched from a 1200SF house in El Cerrito with a yard, so it's been a space adjustment, but we feel like we're having a great adventure, like moving to Paris for a year.
We have an interior apartment, and the train noise hasn't been a problem. For fun we bike along Aquatic Park (little kid's playground about 12 minutes walk south) and over the footbridge to Sea Breeze for snacks. Forget finding space in the bike room! We haven't seen many kids, but my child's social life is at school and with sports teams.
For me the pluses are: a beautiful and modern locked and safe community; an easy acceptance of dogs (mine is young and not that well-trained yet, so I had a hard time finding a place to rent); the spacious closets and w/d in the apartment; the thick walls (don't hear the neighbors except some light feet overhead once in a while); train track for squishing pennies; and a fun neighborhood with stores, parks and easy access to public transportation (we're looking forward to walking a block to the train station and taking a day-trip to Sacramento to see the state capitol). A cafe is supposed to open soon downstairs.
The down side so far has been the parking; it takes 5-10 minutes to get out of the garage if you have one of those stacked parking spaces. The residents are nice, but I think it's more of a transient community with lots of people moving in and out. There are many young singles and couples, but it's not a loud party place, and there are also many middle-aged professionals as well.
I would definitely recommend the apartments for short-term (although I think you need to sign a 13-month lease). We moved to get to a better middle school and don't plan to stay in Berkeley for more than 3 years. FYI: there are LOTS of dogs in the building, in case any of your kids have animal fears. I would also avoid the apartments facing the train tracks as there are supposed to be 72 trains passing by everyday. The train is okay, but the ding-ding-ding of the lowering of the crossing gates is really annoying! j