San Francisco, CA: March 20, 2015 – Nearly a year after they signed “China Live”, a new restaurant and hospitality concept headed by noted restaurateur George Chen, plus the San Francisco Film Society, Cypress Properties Group Co-Managing Principals Chris Wight and Jeff Lee announced that three new entertainment industry tenants have committed to long-term leases at 644 Broadway Street, a 45,000-square-foot building in San Francisco where Chinatown meets North Beach.
In a 10-year deal, Boxcar Theatre leased the entire 9,050-square-foot, subterranean and former theater space in the building. Boxcar plans to reopen The Speakeasy in late 2015 or early 2016 with three-to-four shows per week with an array of neo-vaudeville acts on other nights. Before 644 housed one of the country’s largest dim sum restaurants (the former occupants of 644 Broadway), the theater space was operated as the World Theater for about 15 years from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s.
Disher Music & Sound leased 2,700 square feet on the third floor of the four-story building and plans to occupy the space later this year. Founded in 1993, Disher is a San Francisco-based audio post-production facility specializing in music composition, sound design and mixing. The company has won three Emmy and seven ADDY awards (the world’s largest advertising competition hosted by the American Advertising Federation). Disher clients include advertising agencies, production companies, film/TV, high-tech firms and other corporations. Disher will share the third floor with China Live’s office space (which it will occupy in April) as well as banquet space the restaurant will operate.
Telling Pictures leased 544 square feet on the fourth floor, which is principally occupied by the San Francisco Film Society and its innovative and popular FilmHouse residency program. SFFS already occupies some of the 4,000 square feet it leases at 644 Broadway.
Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman founded Telling Pictures in 1987. They are among the few directors, writers, and producers in the independent film world traversing non-fiction and scripted narrative. Their films have screened throughout the world in movie theaters, at major film festivals (including Sundance, Berlin, Venice, Telluride, Toronto, and New York), and on television and home video. Between them they have received two Academy Awards, five Emmy Awards, three Peabodys, and Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships.
China Live leased approximately 20,000 square feet, including the ground floor of neighboring 660 Broadway. Founded by restaurateurs George Chen and his wife Cindy Wong-Chen (Shanghai 1930, Betelnut), and managing partner Richard Miyashiro (Boulevard, Kitchen Door, Hakkasan), China Live will become an unprecedented Chinese food and beverage marketplace on the ground floors, presenting curated interactive retail and a variety of casual dining options prepared at exhibition kitchens. The second floor at 644 will include Eight Tables, an intimate upscale restaurant, in addition to a bar, lounge and banquet space. China Live is targeting October this year for its grand opening.
Back in March of 2014 when Cypress Properties signed China Live and San Francisco Film Society to long-term leases, Lee said this:
“We want to lease the remaining space to unique companies that share the vision of creating a world-class destination for locals, tourists and the creative community and even draw inspiration from the past, when this area was the focal point of the ‘Beat Generation’ with the likes of Dylan, Kerouac, Ginsberg and Kenneth Rexroth hanging nearby at City Light’s Book Store and Tosca in North Beach,” said Jeff Lee.
And with the addition of two award-winning movie directors, a world-class, award-winning audio and sound production company, plus an Avant-garde theater group, the vision that Jeff Lee shares with his business partner Chris Wight for a renovated San Francisco building is really coming into fruition.
About Cypress Properties Group LLC
Founded by San Francisco Bay Area commercial real estate veterans Chris Wight and Jeff Lee, Cypress Properties Group invests in real estate projects that demand creative vision and collaborative partnerships to enhance the value of acquisition targets while concurrently improving the neighborhoods in which the assets are located and the lives of the people that ultimately occupy the space. Wight and Lee both of have master-planned development experience having worked for Catellus Development Corp., Reynolds and Brown Development Co. and Opus West Corp. Further, they also have brokerage backgrounds. For many years Wight was with Cushman & Wakefield and Colliers International specializing in Capital Markets, while Lee was an East Bay broker with CBRE. Based in Lafayette, CA, Cypress Properties Group is a member of 1% for the Planet, an organization founded by Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia and takes an active role in their real estate and environmental endeavors.