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UC Keeping Offices in Berkeley--for a While

March 28, 1987| From Times Staff and Wire Reports and

BERKELEY — Moving the University of California's systemwide headquarters to Oakland from Berkeley is "not affordable at the present time," UC President David Gardner said Friday, quashing at least for now a proposal that the university administration leave the city of its birth.

Rather than merge all system offices from six leased sites scattered around Berkeley into a single large office in adjoining Oakland--a move estimated to cost $35 million to $47 million--Gardner said his staff will instead try to consolidate in leased space in Berkeley.

Ultimately, however, university officials said the systemwide office, which administers the nine University of California campuses, will indeed seek a new permanent home and will then reconsider moving out of Berkeley.

Any such move would not affect the University of California's sprawling and crowded Berkeley campus, the original UC campus founded in 1868. At issue here is the headquarters linking together all UC campuses throughout the state.

Most top systemwide headquarters offices are housed in University Hall, across the street from the Berkeley campus and a frequent target of sit-ins and other political demonstrations by students and others, including some Berkeley city officials.

The decision to remain in Berkeley is a blow for Oakland officials, who are hurrying to find tenants for their newly redeveloped downtown, with which they hope to shed the city's image as a crime-ridden drug capital. Oakland also is competing with San Francisco for a new federal government office building.

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