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Cleveland to lose millions of dollars in lease payments when I-X Center closes its doors

Posted at 11:59 AM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-17 11:59:45-04

CLEVELAND — Cleveland officials released some new details about Wednesday’s announcement that the company that operates the I-X Center will be permanently shutting its doors and how that will affect the city.

The city said the I-X Center Corporation notified officials about its decision Wednesday, stating that it would be “winding down” its affairs over the next month.

The I-X Center itself is owned by Cleveland, specifically by the Department of Port Control, but leased to the I-X Center Corporation.

Cleveland makes more than $2 million per year in revenue from the lease payments the company makes for the property and building. In addition to losing millions of dollars, around 75 people will lose their jobs when the convention center shuts down.

The company said the pandemic is what prompted the closure.

The city said it is reviewing what to do with the facility in the future, but currently no official plans have been announced.

"We will do whatever is best with that building that has the most positive impact on the city," Mayor Frank Jackson said.

Right now, the city is looking at either assuming the insurance policies the company had on the property or possibly establishing a new policy. The city said there are some liabilities the city will assume, which include the real estate taxes for the property of around $800,000.

Since 1985, the I-X Center has been home to annual events such as the Home and Garden Show, the Auto Show and the Indoor Amusement Park. It has welcomed more than 2 million visitors annually. In the late 80s, the 2.2. million-square-foot building was first recognized in the Guinness World Records as the largest single building convention center in the county.

The I-X Center has been an integral part of Cleveland’s tourism as it became a destination for trade shows and events due in part to its size, location next to the airport and access to multiple highways.

RELATED: The I-X Center closes after 35 years in business, citing effects of global pandemic

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