- Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner
- Tunnel-boring machines for Muni's Central Subway project will be brought up at the abandoned Pagoda Palace theater.
A plan to bring up Muni’s Central Subway machinery at an abandoned theater in North Beach was approved Tuesday by the agency’s board of directors.
Tunnel-boring machines from the 1.7-mile project will be extracted at the Pagoda Palace, with Muni leasing out the property for two years at a cost not to exceed $9.15 million. The funds will pay for rent, materials and the demolition of the existing structure at the site. The agency will pay for the project through its operating budget, although Muni director Ed Reiskin said there is a chance it could be reimbursed by its partners at the Federal Transit Administration.
Muni originally planned to bring up the equipment in the middle of Columbus Avenue, but abandoned that idea after receiving strong criticism from North Beach residents, merchants and political leaders.
As part of the deal to use the theater as a staging site, The City agreed to waive some zoning restrictions at the property for future development projects. Last week, the Planning Commission approved a special-use district for the area, and on Monday, the Board of Supervisors land use committee is scheduled to vote on ratifying that decision.
The $1.6 billion Central Subway project is the second phase of Muni’s T-Third Street line, and it will extend metro service from the South of Market district to Chinatown.