Remember back in November when we learned that the Rec & Parks Department, which needs to find a new operator for the 100-year-old Palace of Fine Arts complex who can perform $20 million worth of historic preservation and seismic work on the place, had settled on three competing reuse proposals including two hotels? Well, there was some public outcry about the commercialization of the iconic place — though we're actually just talking about the buildings behind the iconic rotunda designed by Barnard Maybeck — and Rec & Parks cited the fact that the place had pretty much always been in commercial use, including when it was the Exploratorium. And it sounds like the two hotel proposals have dropped out of the race, either because they might face resistance (a 20,000-signature petition was already submitted saying that nothing but an arts use belonged in the space) or for some other set of reasons, and as the Chronicle reports, the only one of the three operators to submit a follow-up proposal by the May deadline was The San Francisco Museum At The Palace (SFMAP), which would be a public museum with a theater, a destination restaurant from the Absinthe Group, as well as a great hall space that would contain retail kiosk from local artisans and could double as an event space.

The team behind this proposal is a consortium of designers, consultants, investors, and restaurant folk, and from the outset, because it was the least commercial of the three proposals, the question was whether it could be economically viable and cover the necessary upgrade costs. Included on the team is preservation architect Jay Turnbull of Page & Turnbull, as well as architects from Skidmore Owings & Merrill.

You can see the ten-year projected balance sheet on the original proposal, which shows operating profits of $7 million or more beginning in 2018, with revenue primarily from admissions, merchandise, retail rentals, and participation revenue from the on-site theater.

Previously rejected proposals including a similar cultural concept that had Alice Waters attached called the Center for Global Arts and Cultures, and a couple of fitness center proposals.

Per the Chron, it remains to be seen if Rec & Parks is ready to accept the only remaining proposal, or if this thing might have to go out for bid again.

Previously: The Palace Of Fine Arts Will Not Become A Gym, Will Likely Be A Hotel/Event Space And Restaurant