WATERVILLE — A new music and event amphitheater is being planned in southern Lucas County. The open air amphitheater proposed for Waterville would specialize in featuring concerts and have a 9,375-person capacity.
The project, named Waterville Landing Entertainment District, would be located off the U.S. 24 and State Route 64 Waterville/Whitehouse exit.
Contractors for the project include Mosser Construction, DGL Consulting Engineers, Poggemeyer Design Group and Devonshire Development Group.
“I’m super excited about this project,” said John Henry, Third Street Cigar and Third Street Cigar Records of Waterville.
He has put the project together with friends and business associates Hunter Brucks and Chris Campbell.
“Hunter’s a promoter and an operator. He’s done six of these kinds of amphitheaters around the country. He’s been doing this a long, long time,” Henry said. “We’ve talked about this for years. Toledo doesn’t really have a premier venue and Hunter has built these before. It kind of all just came together.”
Brucks is the president of HB Concerts, with more than 40 years of experience in the music industry, as both a musician and in operations.
In an email, Brucks said he hopes the community embraces the project.
“It is imperative to the HB Concerts Inc. business model that residents feel the venue enriches the fabric of the community and that concert guests, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods, feel safe and secure. There will be efficient and tested traffic strategies, a comprehensive staffing plan, including well-trained and professional security,” Brucks said.
The plans feature 5,200 fixed stadium style seats, with 22-25 box suites. Additionally, there will be a lifted berm grass lawn area for general admission seating, permanent restrooms, concessions and merchandise areas that will allow patrons easy access to and from seating areas. On-site parking is also planned for 2,500 cars.
The Waterville Landing facility would have arena style staging and large video screens.
Henry said that a conditional use plan is necessary from the city, but the land already has commercial zoning. The next planning commission meeting is set for Aug. 1. Council approval would also be required.
Henry, who is founder of Third Street Cigar, has been a concert promoter, specializing in blues music, for many years. In addition to the many small music events that take place at the cigar shop, his Third Street Cigar Records has been producing award-winning blues recordings since 2017.
On July 30, blues fans from all over Northwest Ohio will be flocking to downtown Waterville for the seventh annual Blues, Brews and Brats music festival, which was started by Henry. The event has featured some of the biggest names in modern blues, both locally and nationally.