One of San Francisco’s most famous music and event spaces is on the market at an undisclosed price, shaking up the local live entertainment scene in an already difficult year and a half for the industry.
The Regency Center, a 65,000 square foot building prominently located on Van Ness Avenue and Sutter Street in the city’s Tenderloin neighborhood, was listed by Compass Commercial California on Thursday, October 28. His marketing package highlights the property’s conversion potential – “An icon of San Francisco. Ready for transformation ”- but Steve Pugh, agency president, told The Chronicle that the current deal will remain in place after the sale.
That means Los Angeles entertainment company Goldenvoice, which also operates the San Francisco Warfield and Great American Music Hall venues in the city and produces the Coachella Music Festival in Southern California, will continue to book concerts on the lower level. Regency Ballroom for the immediate future.
The Ballroom website features concerts scheduled until June, with a distinctly eclectic lineup of rap, heavy metal and underground indie acts from JPEGMafia to Gwar and Remi Wolf. It is also the site of the annual Edwardian Ball.
But the real estate ad for the five-story complex at 1300 Van Ness Ave. offers a catalog of possible alternative uses for the space, including offices, medical and residential office condos and special purpose units. Events and entertainment are the last on the list.
Zoning rules allow construction above the roofline for mixed living and business use, while the existing building can be redeveloped into a restaurant, private club or sports complex space. The real estate listing offers new developments at 1001 Van Ness and 1200 Van Ness as examples of potential expansion.
Built in 1909 as a Scottish Rite temple, the building once featured a Masonic lodge on its upper floor. Much of the original ornate plaster moldings, tiles and decorative elements remain in place after more than a century of organizing events. But the Freemasons deleted most of their records when the The building became a movie theater in the late 1960s, joining the adjacent Avalon Ballroom.
It was purchased from its original owners for $ 3.7 million in December 1997 by San Francisco real estate developer Scott Robertson, who was Donald Trump’s delegate from the 13th Congressional District of California at the 2016 convention, and a group of investors.
“Initially, Robertson’s plans called for increased office use, while maintaining an existing theater and dance studio,” Pugh said in a statement. “However, as the renovations started, new and creative concepts emerged from the public and private events industry, calling for earlier plans to evolve into a much larger design. In just a few years, the Regency Center has been transformed into the West Coast’s largest, largest and most successful private event facility.