The San Francisco Armory won a permit to begin operating as a full-time event and concert venue from the Entertainment Commission Tuesday night despite protests from neighbors rattled by noise and rowdy patrons at recent events.
The Armory, a historic city building and headquarters for Kink.com, contains a 40,000 square foot event space known as the Drill Court. The Mission District facility, which has had a permit to hold one show or event a month since 2013, now plans to become a full-time entertainment venue with a capacity of up to 4,000 people.
The commission approved the permit, but limited the hours of operations. The commission also is requiring operators to submit a new security plan that must be approved. In addition, noise levels during events must be controlled.
"It was known once as the Madison Square Garden of the west in the 20s and 40s," said Peter Acworth, Kink.com's CEO and founder. "It will bring it back to its former glory and secure the future of the building."
Acworth said he is committed to not disturbing his neighbors.
Residents in the Mission who live near the old military structure said having a neighbor like Kink.com at The Armory producing pornography videos is one thing, but a 4,000-seat concert venue is another. Opponents are concerned about the noise, crowds and parking.
"This is a venue that has had unpermitted events, neighborhood complaints and hasn't become part of the cultural fabric," said Gabriel Medina, who opposed Tuesday's vote.
Acworth said he plans to get a loan to build the venue in the old military drill court. He expects to be hosting concerts in The Armory by December.
Commissioners said they will be monitoring the venue and neighborhood complaints. The commission on Tuesday also voted to issue Acworth a citation for holding an unpermitted event in the building.
Opponents have the option to appeal the commission's decision to the board of appeals.
Bay City News contributed to this report.