Nearly a month after the community celebrated the opening of Legacy Square, the outdoor pavilion and park space is now available to rent.
During a city commission study session earlier this month, John Coen, president and CEO of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, discussed the rates he proposed for the outdoor space, which features more than 20,000 square feet of green space, covered canopies and a pavilion for special events and activities.
Coen told city commissioners he appreciated continuing their discussion on making rental rates fair to the community, downtown businesses and everyone involved.
“Certainly, we’re willing to have a conversation,” Coen said. “It’s our first swing at least at establishing something that’s fair and equitable.”
In a three-page proposal, Coen outlined reservation procedures and pricing as well as an application, which would detail the event and what resources would be needed. Those items, he said, would eventually be available for download from the chamber’s website.
“Organizations wanting to rent definitely are going to think about what they’re doing, and how it will benefit the area,” he said. “We just don’t want someone asking to rent the pavilion, and we shut down parking for a big birthday party. If we’re going to divert parking, and they’re going to use resources, we want to make sure they’ve considered all of that, and that the cost is competitive with other event space and venues in the surrounding area.”
To rent the space, an individual or organization would not only be required to provide event insurance, but also pay a security deposit, depending on which area is rented. Deposits for the large pavilion or the lawn and stage areas are $500 each. The security deposit for the entire Legacy Square is a cool $1,000.
Pricing also varies depending on whether the entire venue is rented or just portions. To rent the entire Legacy Square venue for a day-long event, an individual would pay $10,000. Other options include a 12-hour rental at $4,500 or $470 per hour. Prices are also available to rent just the pavilion and bathroom, the lawn, stage and bathroom or additional parking. Parking is not only charged on an hourly, 12-hour or daily basis, but those fees are charged separately depending on whether the east, west or south areas are needed.
“In the parking areas, we really want people to think about if they’re going to use that parking, because anytime we disturb parking, not only are we creating work for the safety department, as far as notices, and getting people to move their cars, but we’re also causing disruption to businesses on Main Street,” Coen said.
“We’re trying to create prices that will cause people to stop and think about what they want, what they’re going to do, and make sure it’s competitive with other space in the community.”
While the venue’s restroom is included in the rental fees, Coen said it remained a public space, and couldn’t be restricted.
“It’s not that they would have exclusive rights to that by reserving this, but more to give notice that they’re responsible for the cleanliness and state of the restroom,” he said. “We can’t restrict people from using it during an event, but we want people to understand they have that responsibility for the upkeep of the restroom.”
Commissioners did not approve the proposal, and agreed a previous memorandum of understanding signed with Legacy Square was sufficient.
Coen told commissioners he appreciated feedback on rental fees, and admitted they may have to be adjusted as time went on.