The amphitheater would be built in green space between the
The project includes work inside JPAC, as well, much of which would support activities outside.
Organizers with the
The amphitheater could open as soon as
No tax dollars would be used in construction or maintenance, backers say.
The city would continue to own the parkland on which the facility would be built, and it would own the venue, as well. JPAC would be responsible for maintaining the facility, and fundraising includes a maintenance account.
The performing facility would accommodate a range of events from small, local activities to events that could draw more 4,000 people. Eight larger events could be scheduled during an outdoor season.
A typical week at the amphitheater could feature an American music and crafts festival, a family movie night, a wedding rental and a weekend blues festival.
Revitalization efforts for downtown sputtered over the last decade because of the economic downturn, Beckord said.
"We've been talking about how the business community can step forward and give some momentum," he said.
JPAC would manage the entertainment for the outdoor venue.
Garcia, economic development coordinator for the city, said an outdoor venue in that space was suggested in a 2007 downtown study.
He is optimistic about the project but noted that the city must follow its public process, which includes neighborhood meetings and then reviews and approvals by the plan commission and city council.
"We have to appreciate it will be an impact to that whole area, and we are being sensitive to that," Garcia said. "Balancing the pros and cons is going to be critical."
Many details remain to be worked out, he said, but the idea is sound.
"We want to work with them to the extent that it is feasible and possible to see something does happen to our downtown," Garcia said of the city's collaboration with the project's backers.
The goal of recent downtown development efforts is to find ways to reach a critical mass, or "tipping point," to get people downtown, Garcia said.
Planners suggest that an area needs a good balance of spaces, activities and unique businesses to reach such critical mass.
As for the aggressive timetable for a
Organizers have been meeting with affected parties for weeks, including the library board, which has yet to vote on the proposal.
The owner of
Members of the
The economic downturn impeded the group's efforts, and plans for the space have languished for years. This plan ties in well with the club's visions, he said.
"It takes us to the next level."
Information distributed by Forward Janesville said the group pledges to engage the private and public sectors in "getting the job done this time around."
The economic impact of the facility is only one aspect. The other is attracting and keeping in the community young adults who are critically important to the future of local businesses, according to Forward Janesville.
"A vibrant, diverse, cultural and entertainment scene is often cited as a key element in retaining and attracting young adults," the group says.
"A successful launch of this ambitious project will build momentum to continue implementation of the 10-year vision of improvements from
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