San Jose Rock Shop, a music store near downtown, addressed a petition to Councilman Sam Liccardo this week on Change.org, asking for him to support the installation of an outdoor music stage at St. James Park.
The petition says there is support for the project from national nonprofit Levitt Pavilion to build a venue similar to what’s been done in other major cities. So far, the petition has gathered more than 150 signatures from residents of Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. The councilman seems all for the idea—Liccardo posted a link to the petition on his Facebook page Wednesday encouraging others to sign their support.
“I don’t know if it makes sense to sign a petition to myself, but I just did,” he wrote. “Thanks to the good folks at San Jose Rock Shop and Sperry Station for getting this petition going–we’re seeing community support really build for this potentially transformative initiative to revitalize St. James Park—San Jose’s only park in a federal historic district—from a showcase of urban blight and crime to an outdoor venue for live music and artistic performance for the whole community.”
The Levitt Pavilion has built outdoor concert areas in blighted corners of six major metro areas across the country, including a run-down park in Los Angeles and a defunct steel mill in Bethlehem, Penn. The foundation has already expressed an interested in revitalizing St. James, too, by building the stage, establishing a local fundraising foundation with $500,000 in initial contributions and offering 50 free live concerts every year.
According to Liccardo, the project will cost a total of $2.5 million to build, and $500,000 annually to maintain the stage and pay for acts. He is looking at financing options that might use developer fees.
“We’ve been internally trying to push to finance this,’ Liccardo told SanJose.com. “We’ve been engaged for months now. We’re trying to the get the city attorney, the mayor’s office and everybody on board.”