Touchstone Climbing received a building permit in December 2019 to begin transforming the space on Solano Avenue where the Oaks Theatre previously operated into a climbing gym.
The building has been unoccupied since 2010. Since then, there have been multiple attempts to make it a community space, according to Touchstone Climbing spokesperson Mailee Hung. In 2017, Touchstone Climbing entered a contract to purchase the theater and began plans to transform it into Oaks Climbing.
“We have our building planned out, so now it’s just a matter of finalizing the plans,” Hung said. “We’re really excited to bring climbing to the community.”
Hung added that surrounding businesses are “excited” about the new gym and that “immediate” response to the climbing gym has been “positive.”
Neighboring business owner Yves Mozelsio of Yves’ Jewelry and Judaica welcomed the coming Touchstone gym, noting that it will be “good” that the building will be used after being vacant for years.
“I think it’s wonderful that the space will be used as a climbing gym,” Mozelsio said in an email.
According to Hung, the new gym will bring customers to local businesses in the surrounding area as Touchstone’s San Francisco location has.
While Touchstone is prioritizing climbing, Hung added there are plans for the space to be a “full fitness facility,” with services such as yoga and core classes.
Campus sophomore and recreational climber Albert Chen said he is “always excited” for new gyms, as they provide “new experiences.”
“A climbing gym could be another really cool way to unite the community and utilize such a beautiful building like the Oaks,” Hung said. “We hope that it will bring more foot traffic, as Northside of Solano Avenue tends to be quieter than Southside.”
Contact Michelle Lee and Angelina Wang at [email protected].