As alluded to earlier this year, the 28-year-old "nomadic" SFJAZZ has just released its plans for their SFJAZZ Center, a three-story, 35,000-square-foot performance hall, office, and cafe space in Hayes Valley. This is kind of a big deal: what the SF Business Times says is "meant to serve as a West Coast answer to New York’s Lincoln Center." Designed by Mark Cavagnero, the auditorium would be 9,500 square feet and have configurable seating, allowing between 350 to 720 people. It's also envisioned as kind of a hangout spot for musicians and music lovers — there are practice rooms for the former and the cafe and restaurant will give patrons reasons to stick around longer. And, says Cavagnero, the building's glassy exterior should fully display the "energy and excitement of what's going on inside."
According to SFJAZZ's press release, the $60 million project's being led by an anonymous gift of $20 million, the "largest ever given to a jazz institution." The group's director is asking the city to waive its normal community improvement fees, saying that "assessing fees on nonprofit arts and cultural organizations at such a late stage in their planning and fund raising process is punitive." The center should go before the Planning Commission this summer, and is expected to open in 2012. So why not in the Fillmore, where the SF Redevelopment Agency's already put in no small effort to create a district of jazz and jazz-related cultural amenities? SFJAZZ's director only says that they'd looked into a number of different neighborhoods, including the Fillmore, before deciding on the Hayes Valley location.
· SFJAZZ to unveil new performance center [SF Business Times]
· Nomadic SFJazz to settle into permanent home [SFGate]
· SFJAZZ Announces the New SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco [PRWeb]
· SFJAZZ's Hayes Valley Theater Plans Should Be Arriving in Spring [Curbed SF]