Cleveland’s I-X Center Expansion Completed in Record Time

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Cleveland, OH – The International Exposition Center (I-X Center) in Cleveland was expanded to 1 million square feet of prime exhibit space in a matter of months this Winter by converting unused storage space into nearly 200,000 net square feet of new Class A exhibit area now known as South Hall.

The $1.75 million expansion began September 1, 2007 and was completed in time for a grand opening party held February 22. The bash coincided with the opening of the 2008 Cleveland Auto Show, a steady customer that has since committed to remain at the center and now has the potential to grow in size by 25%.

Robert Peterson, president of I-X Center, told Trade Show Executive that the expansion was conceived and executed in less than a year and was being embraced by current and potential customers. “We’ve been moving pretty quickly,” said Peterson. “From a sales and marketing standpoint, we have already talked to a number of potential customers that have expressed interest in South Hall.”

South Hall was created from the back-of-the-house storage area where trade show crates and other items were formerly stashed. Peterson said about half of the unheated area was given new finishes and fitted out with heating and air- conditioning ducts, new lighting and restrooms. The project also included what the center called “the largest painting project in North America,” covering 780,000 square feet with 27,000 gallons of paint.

The project brought I-X Center up from 850,000 net square feet to around 1 million net square feet, elevating the facility to Trade Show Executive’s Millionaire’s Club, which is the list of convention centers offering over one million square feet of prime exhibit space.

The expansion project added air walls and a 25-foot ceiling height that makes South Hall more accommodating to small and medium-sized events. But I-X Center isn’t thinking small. The building has another 200,000 square feet of storage space on the second floor that could be converted to other uses, plus the entire building sits on 173 acres that could easily house a major expansion should the market demand it.

Reach Robert Peterson at (216) 265-2630 or rpeterson@ixcenter.com