Sometimes, discovering the truth behind gossip is less interesting than the rumors themselves.
In the Portland cannabis scene, the latest fevered whispers surrounded Green Space Lounge, a sort of cannabis-related social club said to be opening in the new building with the Fin DAC geisha mural at Southeast 9th Avenue and Division Street. Someone said it'd be an entertainment venue. Others heard something about stripper poles. All I knew for sure was, its website consisted of just an application form, with memberships starting at $7,500 a year.
As it turns out, there will not be any stripper poles at Green Space. Otherwise, though, it is everything it's rumored to be, and maybe even more—because it's not any one thing in particular.
Founder Eric Logan says Green Space is not an Oregon Liquor Control Commission-licensed dispensary or licensed consumption lounge, and it's not a bar or dance club, either. His hope is that people rent out the privately owned spaces—zoned as executive suites—and turn it into any of those things for the night.
"The kind of service I'm about to bring doesn't exist yet in Portland," he says. "We'll have a series of limitless suites amounting to 7,000 square feet. They'll be set up to be anything from a state-of-the-art conference room or a spa treatment using the Murphy beds. Then there's a larger room that will be built out as a versatile lounge area."
In the case of the Green Space Lounge, the real story is almost harder to believe than the gossip. But if even a small percentage of Logan's plans come to pass, it will fill a high-end niche within the local industry that has not yet been satisfied.
When Logan moved to the Pearl District in 2010, he noticed a lack of exclusive experiences in Portland. "I'm not a weed guy. I didn't try cannabis until I was 30 years old," he says. "My background is luxury retail, that's what I know. My nickname is 'All Things Luxury.'"
Logan wanted to find a way to do what he does, but in the cannabis world.
"I traveled around looking at different concepts over the past five years, at the same time getting exposed to the cannabis industry while working at MacArthur Capital [as director of investor relations]," Logan says. "I had this concept to do something for this industry—provide a vehicle for networking and fill the void left when the World's First Cannabis Cafe closed."
Co-founding partners Victor Rubalcava and Ryan Christensen helped create the space. The team called on Axiom Customs to design the lounge's baller boardroom-meets-Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby aesthetic.
The space will operate on a tiered-membership basis, the most extravagant of which is called Emerald Asset Protection. For an annual fee of $30,000, it includes a gold Mastercard with 24-7 concierge service through Aurae Lifestyle. It features benefits like on-call limo service and access to surplus tickets to events like the Grammys and the Oscars, and funds transferred to the card can be withdrawn as most types of currency without exchange fees. Logan says three people have already signed up.
"I didn't want a liquor license or cannabis retail license," he says. "It's BYO everything. People can rent the whole place out for an event, get a one-day liquor license and do what they want, without any weed. Or you can have weed and no liquor. It's called Green Space not because of weed, but for the environment—for sustainability. This is a green space for any type of event to unfold naturally."
Logan says Green Space is slated to open in time for summer. He has a range of other lofty intentions, from utilizing the 400-plus occupancy event space in the building to creating a recording studio for super-secret shows with major-league artists.
"My goal is to have it like MTV Unplugged," Logan says. "It'd all be wired for sound and equipment. We set everything up like Knitting Factory in LA and created the new secret spot where only 20 people can see a major artist come try out a few new things. One of Jay-Z's music producers, Young Guru, came by the space when Jay-Z was in town for the Moda concert. He's very interested in private sessions here."