Deal reached to lease out North Beach theater for Central Subway work 

A deal has been reached to bring up Muni’s Central Subway machinery at an abandoned theater in North Beach.

The transit agency, along with Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and the Mayor’s Office, had been locked in talks to lease out the Pagoda Palace as a way to store equipment and extract tunnel-boring machines needed for the 1.7-mile transit extension project.

Per the agreement, Muni will pay $9.15 million to use the site, which includes $3.15 million to building owner Joel Campos for 24 months of rent. The rest will be spent tearing down the existing building and extracting the machinery.

Originally, Muni had planned on bringing up the machinery in the middle of Columbus Avenue, but backed off after a strong outcry from local residents and merchants.

As part of the deal, city officials have agreed to waive some zoning restrictions for future development at the site. That requires naming the site a special-use district. The Planning Commission is scheduled to vote today on whether to declare the site a special-use district.

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Will Reisman

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