Since the 1800s, when gold was first discovered in nearby Placerita Canyon, Santa Clarita and the surrounding area developed a rich history. Old Town Newhall is known to be the historic core of Santa Clarita as it is the oldest neighborhood within the City of Santa Clarita. From the time Charles Mentry began operating the first successful oil well in the West, Pico No. 4, through the arrival of western film star William S. Hart and beyond, the City has been known as a place where people come to achieve their dreams and raise their families. At the center of it all is Newhall, the area’s oldest neighborhood, which was incorporated along with Valencia, Saugus and Canyon Country to form the City of Santa Clarita in 1987.
As time went on, Santa Clarita’s development in new master housing plans and shopping centers led to a significant growth in population. Although certain areas were becoming new, the older areas continued to age. In order to proactively preserve the rich history of Newhall and develop the area into the City’s premier Arts and Entertainment District, the Santa Clarita City Council adopted the Old Town Newhall Specific Plan in 2005. The goal was to revitalize this special area that was brought down by an increase in crime and blight as buildings were falling into disrepair.
Bringing the right mix of retail, restaurant, and entertainment was crucial for the redevelopment of Old Town Newhall and is now home to more than 60 different businesses. A new public library was built in the vibrant and reenergized area and the City opened an incubator to grow creative and technology focused businesses in the heart of this arts and entertainment district. Today, Old Town Newhall has a variety of spots to check out such as the Walk of Western Stars, the Main, and coming soon, the Laemmle Theatre.
All of these pieces were coming together creating a buzz for new retailers and restaurants to open. Old Town Newhall was quickly becoming the “it” spot where people of all ages come to gather, try one of the most unique restaurants in our town or shop at small mom and pop owned shops. The City knew that with increased public and tourist interest in Old Town Newhall, there was an opportunity to capture these folk’s hearts and spending dollars by generating greater awareness of all the new and loved businesses that were in the area.