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What Development Hell Looks Like for NoPa's Harding Theater

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As we hear tell of the Richmond's Alexandria Theater being used as a restroom for homeless people, SF Citizen takes a look inside the old Harding Theater. The building at 616 Divis has apparently been similarly trashed — by kids who even brought their own padlocks, presumably to keep out competing squatters. Not a pretty scene. Six months ago, owner Michael Klestoff did present new plans to keep the theater's historic facade, but faced with the Planning Department's demand for a full-on environmental impact report, he also noted that "if somebody is interested, we'd be more than happy to sell (the building)."

Yesterday, hot on the heels of the mayor's parklet unveiling, Klestoff sent a letter to Gavin asking for similar beautification attention on the long beleaguered property. (Nothing's happened since 2004, when Klestoff first won approval to raze the building and put up condos.) For one thing, the letter reminds Gavin, the project was to build condos in place of a church — a church that had already been legally converted from theater use. At any rate, whether anything will come of the plea remains to be seen, but you'd probably be hard-pressed to imagine a scene uglier than the one above.
· Divisadero’s Harding Theatre from the Inside [SF Citizen]
· NoPa's Harding Theater Condos Return With a Vengeance [Curbed SF]
· Show's Really Over: Harding on the Market [Curbed SF]

Harding Theater

616 Divisadero, San Francisco, CA 94117