After six years in planning, and eight years after it had to pack up its tent on Pier 29 to make way for America's Cup construction, Teatro ZinZanni finally has approval from the SF Board of Supervisors to return — in somewhat different form.
The circus-y, "European-style" variety show and dinner theater was a popular tourist attraction for eleven years, just a quick jaunt down the Embarcadero from Pier 39. Housed in a vintage, century-old circus tent, Teatro ZinZanni combined cabaret acts with acrobatics and Cirque du Soleil-style feats of gymnastic prowess, with the tagline "Love, Chaos, Dinner." But since New Year's Eve 2011, the show has only existed in its Seattle incarnation, after Larry Ellison's big America's Cup project transformed Pier 29 from its previous state.
Plans percolated to move the tent across the street and reopen the show by late 2013, but that ran into snags over the parking lot property at the intersection of Broadway and the Embarcadero. Flash-forward to this week, after many iterations, and a plan has reached its final approval from the Board to bring a 192-room AC Marriott hotel to the site, with Teatro ZinZanni attached. As the SF Business Times reports, this has ballooned into a $142 million project that is expected to take 22 months to construct, with a hopeful opening timeframe of August 2022. And it will also include a 14,000-square-foot public park.
The development entity behind the project is TZK Broadway, which is a joint venture of Kenwood Investments LLC, Presidio Cos. and Teatro ZinZanni LLC. Darius Anderson, the CEO of Kenwood, issued a statement Tuesday saying, "We are proud to bring this world-class project to San Francisco and look forward to breaking ground on our new hotel and theater project in late 2020." And he adds that the team hopes the new 280-seat theater will be "the newest jewel in our City’s arts programs."
It's not entirely clear why the project took this long to come together — the team first proposed the hotel-theater combination back in 2014. But such is development in SF!
Per the Business Times, design for the project is being led by Mark Hornberger of Hornberger & Worstel, an SF-based architectural firm specializing in hospitality uses.