Teatro ZinZanni Site

The resolution which would set the stage, or rather the tent, for Teatro ZinZanni’s return to San Francisco’s waterfront, with a new dinner-theater and 200-room hotel along The Embarcadero at Vallejo Street, is slated to be adopted by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors this afternoon.

Teatro ZinZanni Site Plan

As proposed and widely supported by the neighborhood, Teatro’s development would include a 7,500-square-foot public park on the northern third of the parking lot site, with the hotel rising up to 40-feet in height on the southern third, and Teatro’s historic “Spiegeltent,” enclosed within a bird-friendly glass gazebo, in the middle.

And if adopted, the Board’s resolution would allow Teatro ZinZanni and its financial partner, Kenwood Investments, to negotiate directly with the Port of San Francisco on a sole source basis for the rights to develop Seawall Lots 323 and 324, rather than having to competitively bid for the parcels.

Teatro ZinZanni had operated out of a semi-permanent tent on Pier 27 from 2000 to 2011, but was displaced for the America’s Cup and development of San Francisco’s new Cruise Ship Terminal.

29 thoughts on “Setting The Stage For Teatro ZinZanni’s Return (And A New Hotel)”
  1. Ooh, right by the Exploratorium. Now if only the Tcho chocolate factory were still at that site.

    1. I remember the old Exploratorium and it was fun. Went there as part of an elementary school field trip. Haven’t been to the new site. Admission is pricey, and my adult tastes have evolved.

      I haven’t been to Teatro ZinZanni either but my colleagues have — “meh” was the response. Cirque was a bigger draw.

      1. Cirque is so over exposed – zinzanni was true dinner theatre – very different. Both expennsive – frankly the relative intimacy of zinzanni lingers longer in the memory.

    1. At 40 feet, it’s hardly going to make a dent in supply and demand…

      Curious about parking for this – not to stir up a SocketSite hornet’s nest, but you’re displacing existing parking (which is pretty regularly used – I can see it from my office) plus adding parking impacts from both the hotel and the theater. To be clear, I’m *not* bemoaning the loss of a parking lot, nor saying this shouldn’t be built. I’m just saying that I’m curious as to how the traffic impacts are to be addressed.

      1. Just glad to see parking lots on the Embarcadero developed. What a civic disgrace that they’ve remained this long. Still several to go including across from Piers 30-32 and the one where a car wash used to be.

        But a “hotel” at 40 feet is a joke. I’m sure that’s all the Telegraph Hill Dwellers would allow without a fight.

      2. “The short answer on parking: There won’t be any.
        All current 285 parking spaces on the lot would be gone, and the “head-in” parking now on Davis Street along the parcel will be turned into parallel parking to make room for a wide sidewalk.
        When Teatro ZinZanni was on the Embarcadero from 2000 to 2011, Langill [Founder of Teatro ZinZanni] said, it attracted about 60 cars per night. The theater has a capacity of 285, but most people took transit, carpooled or came in buses from group sales.
        Those cars would need to be accommodated in local garages or surface lots, and the theater and hotel will have a valet at the main entrance to the hotel lobby on Broadway.”
        According to a Barbary Coast News story from October (namelink).
        Looks like at least 300 parking spaces would be eliminated.

      1. Plenty of hostels nearby. Pacific Tradewinds Hostel on Sacramento St. (between Montgomery and Kearny Sts.) I am sure there are others. Do a search on Tripadvisor.

        There was an article in the San Francisco Business Journal about the costs of building out one hotel room in San Francisco is $1M. I am not a hotelier but this is very high, comparables should be under $500K.

    1. We should do a vote on what I should eat for dinner tonight too while you are at it. Maybe figure out what I should eat for optimal health the rest of the week.

      1. Close, but more like, you should be voting on what someone else eats for dinner tonight. Oh, wait, we do that here.

  2. The City needs every bit of build out that it can get. I hope they add two stories of luxury condos to the project. Plus tons of underground parking to support access to the local businesses.

  3. How could the city possibly bypass competitive bid and sole source this deal, especially to a “politically connected” developer with a very mixed record of successful project execution, which will certainly be disclosed and examined publicly, in a real estate market like this, where there would be very many well qualified bidders who would bid up the value of land, which is a public trust asset. How does that make sense? or end well? City attorney please.

  4. Pathetic artistry coupled by pathetically low-height hotel. Sounds appropriate for SF!

  5. “How many below market rate units will it have? We must provide for our budget tourists.”

    Why MUST we provide for our “budget” tourists? And who is “we”? Hotels are businesses, like any other business. By your logic, we should have a “budget” menu in every restaurant, “budget” sections of every store. Hotel rates are determined by supply and demand.

  6. 4 stories is a wasted opportunity, but a probable fair trade off to get rid of these horrid parking lots. These lots should have some strict materials guidelines to ensure minimal use of cheap building materials…e.g. Stucco.

    Anyone know if the water front / embarcadero has any unique architectural guidelines?

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