In a letter published in today’s Chronicle, the PR director for Staples goes beyond her previous “we do not have a lease” statement and says the national office-supply chain is done with the idea of putting one of its stores in the vacant former Alabama Theater on South Shepherd at West Alabama — for now, at least:
. . . we are not currently considering a store at this site. We typically don’t comment about sites unless and until leases are signed, but we understand that this property represents a unique situation of local concern.
So what prompted theater owner Weingarten Realty to have a local architecture firm draw up plans for a complete interior scraping of the 1939 Art Deco theater — and arrange for at least one local construction firm solicit demolition bids based on it?
Staples was invited by the owner to consider leasing the Alabama Theatre location. We showed interest because the area has a dynamic community with numerous growing small businesses. As is customary, we looked at the property and provided the owner with our prototypical plans to review, in order to provide us with an idea how the property might be adapted for our use.
Amy Shanler indicates Staples is now “pursuing other opportunities in the area” instead.