Design Advice has been offered for the Live Nation at Zidell Yards, a temporary music venue proposed in South Waterfront. The 10,000 seat outdoor amphitheater would include a performance stage, seating, a large public plaza, and a tap house. The venue would be located on the site for seven years, with the possibility of two two-year lease extensions. Design work for the project is by Hacker Architects.
The venue would be located on the Zidell Yards, thirty acres of largely undeveloped land south of downtown. The site was formerly home to the Zidell Marine barge business, which launched its last barge in 2017. Plans for a major redevelopment of the site were cancelled in 2018, with costs of providing infrastructure for the site cited as a reason.
The proposed venue would occupy the area between the Ross Island Bridge and the Tilikum Crossing. The music venue would be comprised of an 8,400 sf stage, backstage support, backstage talent trailers, floor seating, and 30 tiers of structured seating. The stage would be oriented to minimize noise projection into the South Waterfront neighborhood.
The venue would have two main entry points. A north gate would be connected to the Tilikum Crossing via a new ramp. A crane that was once used to disassemble ships would be relocated to mark the location of the north entry gate.
Vehicular drop offs, including by Uber and Lyft, would take place at a new queueing area south of the Ross Island Bridge, near the venue’s south gate.
1,000 bicycle parking spaces and 32 ADA car parking spaces would be provided behind the existing office building at 3030 SW Moody Ave. Approximately 2,000 existing vehicular parking spaces are located in the area around the venue, many of which are lightly used in the evenings.
Between the venue and the river a 113,000 sq ft plaza is proposed. The plaza would be open to the public on days where the venue is not being used.
The scale of the plaza will be broken down by by walls composed of climbing hops, a floor pattern made in part with local basalt, and a ‘ceiling’ plane of cables and lighting.
A basalt print on scrim is proposed surrounding the amphitheater.
At the north end of the plaza, near the Tilikum Crossing, a three level tap house is proposed. The first level would be open during events, serving food and drinks. The second and third levels would be operated by Breakside Brewery and open both during events and throughout the year.
Smaller food and beverage service points, open on events days, would be distributed through the site. These would be made from converted shipping containers.
The Live Nation at Zidell Yards went in front of the Design Commission for an advisory meeting on October 3rd, 2019. As described in a summary memo, much of the discussion focussed on how well the site would work on days where events were not taking place:
• The public plaza and brewery must provide a great urban public space that addresses the river and is accessible to everyone year-round. The venue could then extend the fencing around all or portions of the plaza and the brewery during events. Study the placement and orientation of the building (towards the river).
• The temporary nature of the project is where it fails. Year-round activation and permanent elements are critical to its success.
• The proposal is totally contained within the lease area and doesn’t relate to the larger site (turns its back on Moody, no greenway trail connection). More work needs to be done to be consistent with rest of the site and larger neighborhood.
In order to gain approval the Live Nation at Zidell Yards would be required to go through a Type III Design Review with public hearings in front of the Design Commission.