Committee discusses amphitheater project, future locations

Amphitheater outside of Chili's and Chipotle on Golden Valley road Thursday afternoon. Eddy Martinez/The Signal.

The city’s Economic Development Committee approved a recommendation to City Council Thursday to look at sites for a future amphitheater, city officials said.

The council would vote on the recommendation on July 10 to direct staff to seek public or private partnerships for building an amphitheater at five different sites.

Phil Lantis, city’s arts and events manager, said the sites are:

  • a site adjacent to Beale’s Cut between State Route 14 and the Sierra Highway, where the Interstate 5 and State Route 14 split;
  • a mining pit on the Vulcan Materials Property, where Soledad Canyon Road goes under the State Route 14;
  • a canyon that is also on the Vulcan Materials property;
  • and two sites on the Whittaker-Bermite property, an undeveloped 996-acre site that is south of Soledad Canyon Road, west of Golden Valley Road and east of Railroad Ave.

If the council approves the action, staff would work with owners of the properties to see what partnerships can be negotiated, Lantis said.

The amphitheater is part of the arts commissioners’ arts master plan, done in 2016 with 41 recommendations from the community. In November, the council hired firm AEA Consulting for $59,640 to conduct the study that revealed these findings, Lantis said.

Upon completion, its capacity would be 3,000 seats and 3,000 more people who could be seated on the grassy knoll.

Plans for the proposed amphitheater’s programming would be a mix of concerts, partnerships with Los Angeles-based organizations like the L.A. Opera or L.A. Philharmonic, festivals and community events like graduations and holidays, Lantis said.

“It’s not a small ticket item, so it’s great we have a clear picture and look forward to presenting it to the council,” he said. “Hopefully, if they choose to, we’ll get direction to keep working on it.”

The timeline for completion hasn’t been determined, Lantis said.

As funding for an amphitheater is not part of the Santa Clarita 2020 plan, the outdoor venue wouldn’t be built until after that time, he said.

The hope of building an amphitheater has been discussed in the city since the late 1990s, according to Lantis.

AEA Consulting Firm is based out of New York and was one of six who placed a bid to do the study.

The lowest bid was for $53,400 and the highest bid was for $67,500. A Santa Clarita committee, comprised of arts commissioners and city staff members, chose the firm in part because Laura Zucker, who served as the executive director of the L.A. County Arts Commission for 25 years, is on their consulting team and knows Southern California art well.

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