San Francisco Board of Supervisors votes unanimously in favor of ZinZanni’s permanent home on The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA – May 5, 2015 – Teatro ZinZanni, acclaimed as one of San Francisco’s cultural jewels, delighting audiences with a swirl of stunning acrobatics, rousing comedy, original music and culinary delights on the San Francisco waterfront for 11 years, got the news they have been waiting for in their quest to return to the City. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today for Teatro ZinZanni, in partnership with Kenwood Investments LLC, a San Francisco private equity real estate firm, to proceed toward development of a new permanent home at Seawall Lot 324, located at The Embarcadero and Broadway. The approved resolution is expected to be signed by Mayor Ed Lee, who has long supported the return of Teatro ZinZanni.
“We have worked for three years to return to the city we love and this resounding vote of support from the Board of Supervisors ensures that love, chaos, and dinner will be back at the waterfront very soon,” Norm Langill, Founder of Teatro ZinZanni, exclaimed following the decision. Norm Langill added, “This decision would not have been possible without the incredible support we received from the community, our artists and our fans. We have been humbled by the overwhelming response we have received from our supporters and are forever grateful to your commitment to our company. We are so pleased to be moving forward with our partners at Kenwood to develop a cultural institution and a mixed use building that reflects both the mission of Teatro ZinZanni and the values of the San Francisco community.”
Darius Anderson, Kenwood Investments, LLC’s Chief Executive Officer thanked the City and ZinZanni’s fans in hailing the Board’s overwhelming vote of support. “When we were first contacted by ZinZanni, we were thrilled to have the chance to create a new venue for the arts, a new hotel, jobs and open space at the gateway of North Beach and Chinatown”, Anderson said. “With this new development, we can help to ensure that the arts can continue to thrive in San Francisco”, Anderson added.
The partners presented a new vision for the area that includes plans to showcase Teatro ZinZanni’s century old Belgian spiegeltent – the Palais Nostalgique — at the heart of a LEED-certified four-story, forty-foot hotel building. The northerly end will be designed as a park where public events could be staged, with a daytime outdoor café. The speigeltent will be housed in a glass-walled gazebo, with the backstage hallways visible to pedestrians walking on the Embarcadero. This plan meets Teatro ZinZanni’s artistic, financial and operational needs; it makes the project financially viable for the Port and for Teatro ZinZanni’s partnership; and it stays within the City’s 40-foot height limit for the area.
The plan was met with unprecedented support from business and labor leaders, community advocates, and neighborhood organizations including the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association, Telegraph Hill Dwellers, Chinatown Development Center, North Beach Neighbors, SoTel Neighbors, and the Top of Broadway Community Benefit District. Jim Cunningham from the Barbary Coast Neighborhood Association noted, “Teatro ZinZanni and Kenwood are working closely with the community to ensure they are addressing our concerns and suggestions, including staying within the height restrictions, building a permanent home for a cultural institution, designing a building to conform to the criteria of the district and serving as a gateway to North Beach and Chinatown. They are doing all that and more, and we will be delighted to welcome them back to the neighborhood in the near future.”
From its opening in March of 2000 to the closing night on Pier 27/29 on December 31, 2011, Teatro ZinZanni was acclaimed not only as a jewel in the San Francisco’s cultural crown but also as a significant contributor to the local tourism economy. Approximately 800,000 people entered the magical world during Teatro ZinZanni’s first incarnation on the waterfront. Now, in partnership with Kenwood Investments, LLC and with the help of the Port of San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors, city officials, and many neighbors and fans, Teatro ZinZanni is excited to raise the spiegeltent once again and write a new chapter on the Barbary Coast.
Norm Langill added, “I think this proposal clearly addressed a unique situation that maximized value in a way that benefits the city over the long term. It’s clear the Board’s decision reflects the desire of the community to preserve the great traditions of the arts in San Francisco and ensures that future residents and visitors will be able to enjoy what this great city has to offer for many years to come. I left my heart in San Francisco and can’t wait celebrate with audiences down by the bay when we open the doors.”