North Beach update: Planning Commission votes to move TBM retrieval site relocation forward

For the past two months, SFMTA staff and multiple city agencies have been working to allow the relocation of the retrieval site of the Central Subway’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs) from Columbus Avenue to the Pagoda Palace (1731-1741 Powell Street). This effort has been undertaken in response to community concerns about construction and traffic disruption associated with the original plan.

On Wednesday the SFMTA completed lease negotiations with the owner of the Pagoda Palace. The lease, a major step forward in the agency’s efforts to relocate the retrieval site, allows for the demolition of the existing building and the use of the property to retrieve the TBMs. We thank the community, Mayor Lee, Supervisor David Chiu, numerous city agencies, and the property owner for their support and cooperation in achieving this agreement. You can view the press announcement about the lease agreement here.

Although several steps remain before the retrieval site relocation is finalized, yesterday two integral components of the relocation plan moved forward when the Planning Commission voted to approve a Conditional Use (CU) application and recommend a Special Use District (SUD) for the Pagoda Palace site. The SUD and CU would allow the owner of the Pagoda Palace to move forward with a previously approved development project after the building is demolished and the TBMs extracted.

centralsubwayblog.com – excerpt

In the coming weeks, items related to the relocation plan will be considered at the following meetings:

  • On Tuesday, February 19, the SFMTA Board of Directors will consider the Pagoda Palace lease. This meeting will begin at 1 p.m. at City Hall, Room 400.
  • On Monday, February 25, the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use Committee will consider the SUD. This meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, Room 263.

As always, we welcome and encourage public comment at these meetings.
We will continue to keep you informed as we work to finalize the retrieval site change. We thank you for your continued participation as we work to respond to community concerns about construction in North Beach. (more)

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