When Hotcards CEO John Gadd moved his company to the former Futon Factory at 2400 Superior Ave.—and subsequently bought the building in 2015—he didn’t know what he wanted to do with the 22,000-square-foot warehouse. But soon after moving in, the idea of converting the warehouse into an upscale urban event center came to Gadd, and Red Space was born.
“This vision came to life after being there for almost a year,” Gadd recalls. “We started by renting out the warehouse to friends. Not too soon after, we realized it was an attention-getter, [and] that people were interested in downtown and warehouses. So we started to invest [in Red Space].”
Corporate Conference at Red SpaceToday, Red Space is comprised an assortment of event spaces on three floors—including Hotcards’ 2,070-square-foot offices, an 8,500-square-foot grand ballroom, a 1,560-square-foot gallery, and a 1,200-square-foot loft—all with 15-foot ceilings and spectacular views of the city. The space has hosted some of Cleveland’s most swanky parties and high-profile events.
“It’s a polished facility that still has that warehouse vibe but caters to weddings, corporate parties, and fundraisers,” says Gadd.
According to Gadd, Red Space hosted 60 events last year, and he is on track this year to host between 75 and 80 events. “They really run the gamut,” he says, “from corporate galas to weddings.”
Now Gadd is about to unveil a $650,000 state-of-the-art improvement project that will accommodate and attract an even larger variety of event hosts. “We looked to San Francisco, L.A., D.C., and New York for what they’re doing, and we built the facility around that,” explains Gadd.
Perhaps the shining star behind the project—designed by Lorain-based Fischer and Associates with Osmic, Inc. serving as general contractor—is the new, 1,200-square-foot rooftop that will make its debut this summer. Completed late last year, the roof features room for 150 people, a half-court basketball court, wet bar, hot tub, fire pit, televisions, and panoramic views of the city.
The third-floor rooftop will open into a two-story loft that joins an additional loft and an existing second-floor loft. “It really just expands who we’re able to accommodate,” says Gadd of the additional spaces. “We can have up to 60 people, or we can open the doors to everything and [accommodate] up to 400 people.”
Red Space has partnered with Driftwood Catering for all the facility’s foodservice needs. “We think they’re absolutely the most forward-thinking, eclectic caterer in Cleveland,” says Gadd.
Yoga on the roof at Red Space
Throughout Red Space, Gadd has invested $45,000 to upgrade the acoustics and sound systems with Audimute sound panels to improve sound absorption, along with a $25,000 investment in a microphone and audio system being made specifically for Red Space’s needs.
“It’s a smaller piece of the project, but it’s such an important piece,” says Gadd, citing Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s annual holiday gala held at Red Space.
“They have a DJ and a band, and it sounded awesome,” he says of this year’s soiree. “Everyone was so excited because we didn’t have that echo.”
Additionally, Gadd is resealing the floors, buying new tables and chairs, and restoring five large windows along E. 24th Street (three of which are in Red Space, and two of which are in the office space). A $50,000 HVAC is being installed, as are glass garage doors in the warehouse.
Gadd is tight-lipped about the next phase of the improvements in 16,000 square feet within the warehouse, scheduled to begin soon, but he does say that they’re planning to incorporate a new space for entrepreneurs of all kinds. He promises to reveal more on his plans soon.