Plans for redeveloping the former El Rey Theater at 1970 Ocean Avenue, which was purchased out of foreclosure for $1.06 million in 2015 and subsequently designated an official San Francisco Landmark (No. 274), were drafted and submitted to the City back in 2019.
As envisioned, the existing facade of the theater and its commercial spaces would be restored along with the theater space itself and lobby, using a recovered set of Timothy Pflueger’s original construction documents for direction.
And upon the theater’s parking lot parcels, which flank the rear of the building, and atop its two commercial wings, a total of 42 condos would be built, a mix of 28 one-bedrooms, 12 twos and two threes, along with a basement garage for 32 cars, designed by Goldman Architects to be “compatible with the 1930’s Moderne style of the Pflueger El Rey Theater” while “relat[ing] to the scale of the neighboring homes.”
Keep in mind that the formal landmarking of the theater requires that “all exterior elevations, form, massing, structure, roofline, architectural ornament and materials” of the building be “preserved or replaced in kind.”
Withdrawn from consideration shortly after having been submitted to Planning, prior to any formal review, the plans were resubmitted to the City a few months ago and Planning has now completed its preliminary review.
While Planning’s review didn’t raise any major red flags, it did result in a recommendation that the proposed massing atop the theater’s two commercial wings be relocated to the new building forms, to minimize the impact to the historic resource.
At the same time, Planning would like the project team to “explore ways to maximize the residential density at the rear of the property,” noting that California’s Density Bonus Program “may provide a path for the project to seek additional density as well as waivers and incentives/concessions from certain development standards,” such as the 45-foot height limits for the site.
We’ll keep you posted and plugged-in.