San Diego City Hall. Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen
San Diego City Hall. Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

A San Diego City Council committee Wednesday recommended terminating the lease for Epicentre, a teen music venue in Mira Mesa.

The Smart Growth and Land Use Committee voted 3-0 after hearing from city staff. Committee member Todd Gloria was absent.

The nonprofit that ran the Epicentre asked for an early termination of its lease, since the future use of the building remains undetermined.

The Epicentre, in a building at 8450 Mira Mesa Blvd. that’s owned by the city of San Diego, gave many musical groups their first gigs. Some, like Maroon 5, played the venue before finding fame.

Facing increased competition, Harmonium Inc. closed the concert hall last year, and operators told city officials a teen center at the facility hasn’t drawn much interest from area youth, according to a staff report.

The current five-year lease was signed in 2012 and ran through April 30 of next year, according to the report, which noted that Harmonium is not in default of the lease terms.

The future of the space is clouded because federal funds were used to repair the roof, flooring and sewer system.

Restrictions placed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on how the building can be used will remain in effect until June 6, 2018, according to staff. The report said the city would have to reimburse HUD if the building is used for something outside agency parameters — which in general specify community service.

The city’s Real Estate Assets Division recommends approving the lease termination. The matter will now move to the full City Council.

–City News Service