By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
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By Laurie Charles
"It is true," longtime downtown Miami nightlife don Louis Puig admitted last month. "I sold Club Space."
Writing in his semiannual "tell-it-like-it-is letter regarding EDM," Puig also confirmed that Winter Music Conference and Miami Music Week 2013 would be his last with the NE 11th Street party institution. But the ex-owner didn't drop any hints about the identity of the club's new proprietors.
However, a spokesperson for Opium Group partner Roman Jones tells New Times that Space is now "held by a group of individual investors led by Jones and [fellow Opium partner] Justin Levine." The rep is insistent, though, that "Space is not owned by the Opium Group."
In his letter, Puig reminisced about his time at Space and explained his decision to sell the club. "I'm very proud of what we created in downtown Miami and have been privileged to work with some amazing and talented people," he writes. "Thirteen years is a very long time for any club to be around, and I couldn't have done it without all the people who supported Space in so many ways. It's 130 years if you want to compare it to human years.
"[But] it was time," Puig admits, "for me to move on and let someone else carry the Space torch."
That "someone": Jones, Levine, and several other nameless backers, who, the rep insists, "are all genuine fans of the existing Space culture."
Predictably, there will be some light renovations to the club. "Space will keep its renowned look and feel," Jones's spokesperson says, "with some upgrades to the physical space and increased production, lights, and sound."
But for all the people worried that Space is set to become a VIP bottle-service club, the message is clear that "the current operations will continue unchanged."
Moreover, the rep confirms, "Paolo Pincente, who has been the general manager and director of operations for Space for the past several years, will remain at the helm of Space.
"No one knows how to operate Space better than the team that's been doing it for years. This same team will continue to operate Club Space."