April 8, 2013
By Luke Money, Signal Staff Writer
A proposed plan will be presented at a council meeting on Tuesday night
A master plan for a Santa Clarita conference center is set to be presented to City Council members Tuesday night.
The plan notes a center could have an annual budget shortfall of $1.1 million to $2.7 million a year on top of a construction price tag that would likely exceed $10 million. Due to the costs associated with the project, city staff members are recommending the city search for a private-public partnership to construct the center. Under such an agreement, a private developer would construct, own and operate a center, and the city would provide a public subsidy to use it.
The master plan culminates three years of work toward determining the feasibility of a stand-alone conference center in the city. Currently, the city’s main conference center is the grand ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Valencia. In 2010, the city retained the hospitality research firm PKF Consulting USA to examine whether there was a public demand and economic market to support a Santa Clarita conference center. PKF determined Santa Clarita could likely support a center between 40,000 and 60,000 square feet in size, according to city documents.
The city then enlisted the services of Kosmont Companies, a development services firm, and the Gensler architectural design and planning firm to develop the master plan for the conference center.