City gives green light to porn filmmaker 

The fetish film production studio that moved into the former State Armory in the Mission district earlier this year isn’t going anywhere despite an outcry from residents who say the company has turned a national landmark into a "porn palace."

At a public hearing Thursday, San Francisco planning commissioners said Kink.com can and should operate out of the armory, which sits on land zoned for heavy commercial use. They did acknowledge, however, that residents in the surrounding neighborhood should have been contacted about the armory’s sale.

"I’m in favor of free enterprise and for someone to do what they want with a building they own," Planning Commissioner Michael Antonini said. "There are many of these activities going on throughout The City."

Late last year, Kink.com founder Peter Acworth purchased the armory from a private developer for $14.5 million. The 190,000-square-foot building at Mission and 14th streets has been empty since 1975, when the California National Guard abandoned it.

Watch a Kink.com News video of Peter Acworth and Kink.com executive producer Lisset Barcellos in a discussion with the Mission Merchants Association (below): 

Throughout the years, there have been various proposals for the armory, including office space, market-rate housing and parking spaces, all of which have failed because of public opposition.

Thursday’s hearing, called by Mayor Gavin Newsom, was packed with Kink.com supporters who said Acworth is a stand-up professional who has worked in The City for more than a decade. They said he is cleaning up the building, which was susceptible to graffiti and vandalism while vacant, and plans to run a discreet operation.

"It’s important we maintain San Francisco’s reputation of tolerance, acceptance and freedom to come out here," Matthew Gramly, a supporter, said.

About a dozen opponents spoke against Kink.com operating in the armory, saying the outfit does nothing for the surrounding community and complaining about it being near schools, churches and a battered women’s shelter.

"I don’t want to see this going on in my neighborhood," opponent Roberto Soirano said.

arocha@examiner.com

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