As we first reported last week, plans to redevelop the long-shuttered Harding Theater at 616 Divisadero Street have been revived and could be approved by San Francisco’s Planning Commission next week.
In addition to a redevelopment of the theater building as an arcade and bar dubbed “Emporium SF,” with new retail fronting Divisadero as well, the proposed project includes the construction of a new five-story building with seven residential units and two parking spaces on the rear portion of the L-shaped theater parcel which fronts (1282) Hayes Street.
The proposed design will leave the entire theater building – save the small one-story mechanical room
addition which juts out into the undeveloped portion of the parcel along Hayes – intact.
From the development team with respect to the plans:
“The existing building will be fully preserved and the damaged interior restored – the theater structure, inclusive of the rear stage and fly loft will remain in place and all significant character-defining spaces and details will remain.
Aside from the removal of the existing mechanical room attached to the south side, the proposed changes include upgrading the restrooms, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; restoration of the former storefronts; interior restoration of damaged plaster grillwork in the auditorium; and restoration and reconstruction of the marquee canopy at the front facade.
Other improvements include creating level floor areas on top of the existing raked auditorium and stepped balcony floors; restoring the proscenium stage opening to the auditorium; the addition of three bar areas at various locations; and creating support spaces in the basement area. The general interior finishes will also be refurbished throughout.”
Plans for redeveloping the Harding Theater site have been in the works since 2003, when a proposal to raze the theater, which was then being used as a church, and build up to 18 residential units and 5,500 square feet of retail space was approved and then challenged by preservationists, as was a scaled-back proposal in 2008.