Give Me Space

In recent years, more and more open spaces are entering the real estate market. Most of them are commercial, though it would be nice to see some residential. Take the first floor of ArtSpace for example. The interior is cavernous. Friday night we went to check out an exhibit by artist Larry Griffis – the turnout was impressive, but the place still appeared to be empty due to the pure size of the room. One day that room will most likely be subdivided into smaller gallery compartments. And even though those compartments will most likely be fairly large, I will always remember attending a show within the uninterrupted raw layout.

Another nice wide-open space can be found at The 31 Club. The second floor has been overhauled to accommodate large banquets – perfect for wedding parties or anniversary bashes. After celebrating the completion of the Lyndhaven on Thursday, Horizon Realty owner Mike Hananel and his team walked across the street to the supper club. It was there that club’s co-owner Tony Caggiano gave everyone a tour. Tony told us that the roof of the building had been completely removed and rebuilt in order to add a vaulted ceiling to the second floor. It worked. Now the entire floor is one big space with plenty of windows and ample room for tables and people. There’s even a patio overlooking Johnson Park.

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The Grant Street Gallery is another cool raw space. Rock Harbor hosted an event there last Tuesday, which drew a large number of West Side advocates to the scene. The rear of the gallery is primarily composed of a rough speed tile backdrop. Normally I’m not a big fan of speed tile, but the effect worked well by giving a soft touch to the open footprint. A lot of work went into cleaning up the interior, though at the end of the day there’s really nothing to it… and that’s what makes it such a nice addition to Grant Street. The simple tin ceilings and wood floor puts the emphasis on the art yet provides enough character to make it enjoyable when simply enjoying the art of conversation.

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I’ve been enjoying reading some of the recent comments on BRO regarding residential rentals. My girlfriend recently asked me why there are so few raw loft spaces in the city. Most of the units that have come onto the market are very finished, which leaves less to the imagination of the dweller. It would be nice to see some wide-open units built – you know… ones where the kitchen, the living room, dining room and the bedroom are all just one big unfinished living area. I would think that an open, unfinished loft apartment would be less expensive as well. I’m sure that there are a few buildings around the city that would lend themselves to these types of build-outs (or lack thereof).

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