Richmond theater cleans up act 

The eagerly awaited development of the long-shuttered Alexandria Theater site in the Richmond district is at last gaining ground.

Detailed plans are set to be revealed within three weeks, and a groundbreaking is scheduled for early next year on a mixed-use project to revitalize the 87-year-old theater at Geary Boulevard and 18th Avenue that was closed six years ago and has since been left to rot in the bustling commercial corridor, Supervisor Eric Mar said Sunday.

The progress marks an accord between owners and city planners, who have been wrangling over the details and bureaucracy of development, each blaming the other for why the project has not moved forward.

Outcry from residents who are fed up with the eyesore forced the warring factions to move more quickly on the revamp, which would include a 245-seat theater, new retail space and a 46-unit condo development on the parking lot that borders the theater on 18th Avenue.

An environmental impact report is set to be completed in the next three weeks, Mar said, adding that a large public meeting will be held within that time to allow for more details to be released about the project.

Even though it will take months before groundbreaking, in the interim, the site will appear much cleaner than it has in recent months, representatives for the owners told The Examiner.

The Department of Building Inspection recently mandated that the owners of the Alexandria register the theater as a vacant building, which requires them to pay a$765 annual fee and maintain it in a secure and good condition. 

New efforts have been made to clean the site and stave off homeless people, such as further securing of  locked entrances that were being used to get inside the building, according to reps for the owners.

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