Earlier this week, SPACES confirmed that they’ve cancelled plans
to move into Michael Chesler’s 14,000-square-foot building on the corner of Detroit Avenue and W. 29th Street in Hingetown/Ohio City. Towards the beginning of the summer, SPACES announced their intentions to relocate from their current home on the Superior Viaduct with the launch of a $3 million capital campaign – and a $1.5 million initial goal set to sign the lease this October.
Although they’d only received about half that initial goal, John Farina, President of SPACES’ board, insists that money was not the determining factor in the development. “Our fundraising was going quite well, but we needed to pull back a little until we were able to have a signed lease.” explains Farina. “Our board and legal counsel never had an opportunity to review a draft lease while we were negotiating specific terms. With no draft lease and our disagreement on key terms, we simply could not proceed.”
Chesler told Steve Litt another story, saying "we are really surprised and a bit unhappy" and "we bent over backwards to accommodate them" and that he didn't really think SPACES could raise the necessary funds.
Farina, meanwhile, also stated that SPACES will continue looking in and around Ohio City and Hingetown. SPACES’ original search had included other neighborhoods around Northeast Ohio, including Waterloo.
“We learned a lot during this process and we're in an even stronger position now to negotiate terms on our new location with the long-term sustainability of SPACES in mind,” adds SPACES Executive Director Christina Vassallo.
SPACES has two years left on the lease of their current space. For now, we’ll all have to stay tuned. Stop by this Saturday (Nov. 1) from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. for their annual benefit – this year appropriately titled Optical Delusions: Last Days on the Viaduct.
The evening includes a silent art auction featuring work by some of the region’s most accomplished artists, music from the Secret Soul Club at 8pm and violinist Arial Clayton in the VIP lounge, a fresh farm-to-table experience with Chef Douglas Katz (Fire Food & Drink) and more. This year, SPACES honors local artists Jeffery Chiplis and Sam Hubrish for their efforts in SPACES’ early days on the Viaduct.