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Frank Ferry: Old Town Newhall revitalization efforts continue

Live from City Hall

Posted: June 4, 2009 9:32 p.m.
Updated: June 5, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
The Redevelopment Agency of the city of Santa Clarita is continuing to actively implement the Downtown Newhall Specific Plan, which was approved by the City Council in December 2005.

A number of exciting projects included in the plan, such as streetscape improvements, development of a larger and more modern public library, and future affordable housing/mixed-use projects, will pave the way for the revitalization of Old Town Newhall.

The city's goal is to infuse the area with life and transform it into an exciting Arts and Entertainment District.

A construction bid was awarded in February 2009 for two blocks of streetscape improvements, which will include the installation of a storm-drain system from Lyons Avenue to 5th Street.

The streetscape project also includes paving, curb and gutter construction, access ramps, and signing and striping.

The streetscape project will also make several aesthetic beautifications possible in Old Town Newhall, like a wood boardwalk, gas-like street lamps, walkway pavers, planters, benches, planting and irrigation, and other decorative features along Main Street's walkway.

The city's Newhall Redevelopment Agency is excited to see these improvements come to fruition from 6th Street to 8th Street by mid-summer 2009.

This is the beginning of an ongoing effort to create an exciting Arts and Entertainment District in Old Town Newhall that encompasses the historic flavor of this important area of our city.

As the streetscape improvements continue to take shape, the City Council also approved the award of a design contract to MNS Engineers at the May 12 City Council meeting.

The design contract will facilitate construction plans and specifications for the Newhall Avenue roundabout at Newhall and Main Street.

The decorative roundabout will greatly streamline the flow of traffic and will create a sense of destination and entryway to Old Town Newhall.

It is anticipated that the design and second phase of the public participation process on this particular project may take up to a year.

In addition, a full design contract, awarded to LPA Architects by the City Council on April 24, will complete plans and specifications for the new Newhall Library.

The project continues to move forward, as LPA Architects submitted the first draft of the schematic design to the city for review on May 15.

The new library will be four times the size of the existing library and will be a community gathering place and focal point for years to come.

The city's Newhall Redevelopment Agency is continuing negotiations with interested developers to build high quality, state-of-the art, affordable housing mixed-use projects, along with spearheading the design of the Newhall Library and Newhall Avenue roundabout.

These enhancements and development opportunities will contribute to the renaissance of Old Town Newhall, making it the Arts and Entertainment destination location that the community will undoubtedly enjoy.

The city's Redevelopment Committee meets in the City Hall Century Room, 23920 Valencia Boulevard, on the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m., and the public is always invited to attend these meetings.

For more information, please contact the city at (661) 255-4330.

Frank Ferry is mayor of Santa Clarita. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. "Live from City Hall" runs Fridays in The Signal and is provided by the city of Santa Clarita.

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