August 20, 2013
Demolition Of Derelict Pagoda Theater Is Underway
The demolition of the derelict North Beach Pagoda Theater is underway.
Once the theater is demolished, a shaft to extract the boring machines for San Francisco's Central Subway project will be constructed upon the site which MUNI has leased for two years at $131,250 per month.
And once the machines are extracted and the shaft is closed, construction of The Palace at Washington Square, a five-story building with 18 dwelling units over a 4,700 square foot restaurant and parking for 27 cars, but no new North Beach Subway station, is slated to commence.
First Published: August 20, 2013 8:00 AM
Comments from "Plugged In" Readers
No subway. So much for a Transit First city.
Posted by: Mark at August 20, 2013 8:55 AM
This is such an asinine project
Our anglo-cetlic ancestors are rolling over in their graves at what this city is now
Posted by: Zig at August 20, 2013 9:13 AM
This is classic SFMTA: Give the owners of the building what they want. Pay for the demolition. Then rent the previously vacant space from them for millions of dollars. And no one in the "news" profession batts an eye.
Posted by: $AN FRANCI$CO at August 20, 2013 9:24 AM
Anglo-Celtic? My reading of history is that Spanish-indigenous and then Jews and Italians, and then Chinese folks and many others built this city too.
But I agree that it is ridiculous that North Beach isn't getting a subway station, and that the city if paying much of the value of the land in rent.
The city should have taken the Pagoda by eminent domain and used the site for a North Beach terminus for the subway.
Posted by: Dan at August 20, 2013 9:27 AM
The Pagoda space was empty for years and the owners, presumably, got no rental income. Now, the city is going to pay them $131,250 a month?
Unbelievable. As a taxpayer, I resent my money being thrown away. And at a time when there are cutbacks in necessary programs.
Posted by: jlasf at August 20, 2013 9:34 AM
What gets me is that SFMTA is spending millions of dollars to build a half-mile tunnel from the Chinatown station to this site without including a station in an area of the city that desperately needs one...not to mention better connections to transit, unlike the Chinatown station that misses the busy 1-California line by a couple blocks.
Posted by: Mark at August 20, 2013 9:37 AM
It's unbelievable we aren't putting a station here. The city will borrow money at the drop of a hat and suddenly when there is a chance to do something important that will last, and actually make this boondoggle less painful, we aren't going to bother. We are going to regret this for a long time.
Posted by: wc1 at August 20, 2013 9:41 AM
Doesn't matter how many times you hear this or how old the news is by now. One fact remains: IT MAKES NO FOGGING SENSE!
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at August 20, 2013 9:43 AM
Eminent Domain. The owner (aka the person who left the property derelict for TWO decades) is paid market-value for the property, which would then be reserved by the city for a future MUNI station. everyone wins. Or I guess the city could pay rent for a hole in the ground.
Posted by: Adam at August 20, 2013 9:47 AM
The whole subway is a complete fraud.
Posted by: zig at August 20, 2013 9:51 AM
They should have left the boring machine underground and continued tunneling.
Posted by: Brad at August 20, 2013 10:05 AM
I walked by the site yesterday. There was a man taking pictures of the demo and one of the workers went nuts, didn't like this man taking pictures, and he shoved the man. It was like something that happens in other countries. The man backed away and kept taking pictures. Figuring there must be something interesting in the demo, other people starting taking pictures too.
I didn't see anything being done wrong, other than the city squandering money as other posters have commented, but the construction worker sure was upset.
Posted by: unwarrantedinlaw at August 20, 2013 10:07 AM
I hope y'all pause for a moment to feel the pain of the Great Peskinby as he sees his noble effort to preserve the Pagoda come to naught. North Beach will never be the same as it was in 1940.
Has he found a job?
Posted by: conifer at August 20, 2013 10:22 AM
This is such a huge fail. Where are you on this, SF Chronicle?
Posted by: OMN at August 20, 2013 10:24 AM
"Where are you on this, SF Chronicle?"
We get what we pay for.
Posted by: zig at August 20, 2013 10:35 AM
So why aren't they putting a station here? Did not see an official reason given in any of the articles, but maybe I missed it.
Posted by: Legacy Dude at August 20, 2013 10:49 AM
A more minor complaint: why tear down an ugly old building and replace it with a building that looks nearly the same? And that only has 18 units of housing in a dense prime location?
Posted by: guest at August 20, 2013 10:57 AM
Do any of you really need to ask why there is no subway being built here?
I'll give you a hint, it rhymes with beletaft bill dellers.
Posted by: sf at August 20, 2013 10:57 AM
It's really nice to see everyone agreeing on something transit related for once.
Posted by: frog at August 20, 2013 11:12 AM
Such an ugly little fake "Deco" building. It should have been much taller, with residential above commercial AND a subway station entry.
Posted by: Futurist at August 20, 2013 11:47 AM
Any way to get a ballot measure to block further construction of the CS? $2B for what I'd like to know.
Posted by: Mark at August 20, 2013 12:07 PM
Why block it? It is mostly done at this point. I would vote for a ballot measure to raise enough money to finish the job and extend the subway to The Marina.
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 20, 2013 1:37 PM
I agree with NoeValleyJim, though I'd settle for just North Beach.
Posted by: OMN at August 20, 2013 1:43 PM
Marina? That would never happen. At best, we might hope for a North Beach station, a terminus at Fishy Wharf and then an extension of the F line to the west side of Ft Mason. But even that's a pipe dream.
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at August 20, 2013 1:45 PM
An extension to the Marina before getting decent transit on Geary or Van Ness? Hell eff'n no. We need good transit on our important corridors, not frat boy hangouts.
Posted by: anon at August 20, 2013 1:48 PM
...and the angry champion of the proletariat rears his ugly face again. Another thread going to hell in 5...4...3...
Posted by: formidable doer of the nasty at August 20, 2013 1:57 PM
Sorry, I wasn't clear...I'm in favor of blocking the current plan which terminates in Chinatown, makes no provisions for a platform at Union Square for a future Geary line (of which I am a major proponent) and will honestly do nothing to alleviate the transit problems facing this part of town. The MTA really has no concrete plans to ever extend it past Chinatown, regardless of whether it goes to the wharf or to the Marina. If it did there would be a phase 3 on the drawing board, like we had phase 2 even before construction on 3rd St. began. Is today's shortsighted investment worth a "maybe" 20 years from now? Meanwhile, the system is falling apart at the seams and the CS will do nothing but suck more money out of a crumbling system. As much as I would love to have a world class transit system in this case cut our losses now and come up with a cheaper alternative to a Chinatown shuttle.
Posted by: Mark at August 20, 2013 2:07 PM
A lot can change in two years. My guess is the station will happen.
Posted by: Mike at August 20, 2013 2:16 PM
@anon: hey, kill two birds with one TBM and loop the CS around the wharf, down Van Ness, down Division and around to King St. to create a circle line. All that talk of removing 280 to 16th st. could bring in some sizeable high-density development that's tied directly into mass transit.
Posted by: Mark at August 20, 2013 2:28 PM
could bring in some sizeable high-density development
Posted by: EH at August 20, 2013 3:00 PM
I like Mark's idea. :-)
Posted by: OMN at August 20, 2013 3:04 PM
Keep going with the circle line under the Bay and over to Alameda, then on to connect with BART at Lake Merritt.
Then keep on tunneling for a nice SF to Sacramento line.
Posted by: anon at August 20, 2013 3:33 PM
"Keep going with the circle line under the Bay and over to Alameda, then on to connect with BART at Lake Merritt."
I completely agree. Given the proposed enormity of the Alameda Point development the island sure could use a mass transit station that links it to SF and the East Bay.
Posted by: Mark at August 20, 2013 3:53 PM
^Also, we should start on an El Camino Real line.
And free jet packs for the homeless.
Posted by: anon at August 20, 2013 3:56 PM
"beletaft bill dellers"
We now have a name of that fetid, Peskin-esque organization.
Posted by: Toady at August 20, 2013 4:00 PM
I have nothing new to add here, still just shocking to me
Posted by: Sam at August 20, 2013 4:16 PM
And free jet packs for the homeless.
Now now, let's not be ridiculous here. What would Muni do if they didn't have the homeless to drive in circles all day?
Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 20, 2013 4:50 PM
As an educated man, Mark must be forgiven for his slip of the keypad when he wrote enormity when he meant enormousness.
Posted by: conifer at August 20, 2013 5:41 PM