Something finally happening at The Alexandria (parking lot)


Fencing is now up along the Alexandria Theater’s back lot on the 18th Avenue side. The lot was previously used for paid parking and for YMCA members. It was also a favorite for homeless campers for awhile.

An ownership group purchased the Alexandria property in July 2014, which included approvals from the Planning Department to build residential units, with commercial space on the ground floor, on the vacant lot behind the theater. The building would also include underground parking.

We have not seen the latest plans for the development of the building on the back parking lot. The rendering below was submitted in 2012 for approval but may no longer be accurate.

But the permit description for the project (200806275522) confirms that the building will be 4 stories and include 41 units. The project cost is $12.2 million.

Still no word on what the fate of the theater itself will be. But at least something is happening to move forward with the next chapter for this neglected property.

Sarah B.

A rendering of the residential units, with ground floor commercial, in the back lot on 18th Avenue.

A rendering of the residential units, with ground floor commercial, in the back lot on 18th Avenue.


  1. I’m hopeful that if this project is initiated that we will also see some movement on the theater building. I imagine that having a crumbling building next door would make the units less attractive to lease or buy.

  2. Yaaaah, now let’s hope this spurs the actual theater project!

  3. Happy it’s moving along and it does look like they are starting construction, from an earlier comment: San Francisco Property Information Map (Permits) states “TEMPORARY SHORING OF SITE” (Application Number: 201510089265).

  4. So how exactly does this improve our neighborhood. Will there be fewer sinkhole and otherwise exploding sewer pipes? Less traffic congestion and pollution? If density lowers prices why isn’t new York cheaper than here? Why haven’t prices gone down here with all the building of glass towers?

  5. NYC is cheaper than here. Manhattan isn’t, but Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island all are cheaper than both SF and cheaper neighborhoods like the Richmond.

    Will this directly fix potholes? No, but the added property tax revenue means that there’s more money for the progressives at City Hall (aka Campos, Peskin) to waste on legacy projects and pandering and, hopefully, a few potholes.

  6. Just wait and see if the next district supervisor really represents us folks who actually live here in this area to make this site for the neighborhood’s benefit!

  7. Keeping my fingers crossed, but seeing (real construction) is believing!

  8. I meant “office prices” not housing.

  9. Richmondwow – NOBODY wants SF to turn into NYC – why would they. Move there if you like it there.

  10. I would be thrilled if SF was more like NYC! SF is a city that wants to pretend and design itself as if it was a suburb, that’s why nothing works efficiently here.

  11. Since someone mentioned potholes – will our streets ever be paved? Is this possible? It is like job #1 of government – if we can’t afford it maybe we should cut back our $250M/year homeless program. I mean seriously. Can any supervisorial candidate pledge to just pave our streets? I don’t really care about anything else.

  12. I’m with you, Richmondman. As shocking as it might seem to East Coast transplants, lots of people who live here have zero interest in having SF turn into anything like NYC (or LA for that matter, although the horrible traffic congestion makes comparisons sadly apropos.

  13. As a fourth generation Northern California native, I would love for SF to be more like NYC. So clearly there are some people who wish to see SF become a world class city rather than the provincial town that currently exists. Of course, this would mean investing in transit, rezoning our suburban neighborhoods and other changes that are constantly opposed by various residents.

  14. The Alexandria project will do nothing for the middle Richmond. It will have condo’s and/or apartments that only 20% at best of San Franciscans can afford. It will add retail space to an area of Geary that already has too much un-leased space. It will attract people who are going to drive and add more traffic to the area. It will, and has, added to a decline in parking as all those using the lot are now on the street.

    It will not have any activity that would constitute being called a “anchor tenant” like a theater or a large store that would bring people to the area and help all of the business in the area.

    At the end of the day it will make some folks a lot of money and do little to address any of the issues that the current residence of the area care about.

  15. JD,
    This development may make some money for the developer assuming the current housing shortage continues. But it will also do the following:
    1. Provide significant increased property tax revenue for the city.
    2. Provide additional patrons for the merchants in the immediate vicinity.
    3. Provide additional affordable housing as required by the current regulations.

    As to parking, if the city would only increase the cost of residential parking permits you might see a number of garages cleaned out and used for actual automobiles. As it is the Richmond district probably has 1000’s of garages filled with junk while the residents park on the street.

    I agree with you on the retail. No need for additional retail in this location. Instead, increase the number of housing units in the project.

  16. I like what Mike says. I’m all for paying for a parking permit for the outer Richmond. 200% for the second car per DMV address, 300 for the third, etc. Start penalizing the vehicle pigs who use up excessive street parking with multiple vehicles, especially when they have garages filled with junk or illegal in-law conversions.

  17. And I’m sure these “residential units” will be unaffordable to 95% of the population in the Richmond district.

  18. I am a consultant for a company that specializes in the restoration of historic buildings and theaters. Could someone give me info on who to contact (owners rep. or ??) so I could speak to them about this.

  19. I want to make sure the historic elements (murals, decorative wall reliefs) are preserved in the theatre. I heard at least a few have “walked off” and there’s been water damage. Actually, Western Neighborhoods Project (outsidelands.org) would make a nice tenant for part of the building. History!

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