LEWISTON — They were "mobile entrepreneurs" looking for office space.
Dan DeBruin and Greg Young found a ballroom and decided that could work, too.
The co-owners of Northeast Event Design have signed a four-year lease in the Promenade Mall and opened Skye Event Center with space for corporate and private events. In the 5,000-square-foot ballroom and adjoining 4,500-square-foot nightclub next to Flagship Cinemas they hope to host weddings and regular chem-free teen dances.
As Northeast Event Design, the business partners already work 60 to 70 weddings each summer with light shows, music and specialty audio-visual equipment. They also work with the Portland Red Claws and Portland Pirates.
"We're excited to be grounded, so to speak — we're so used to being on the run," DeBruin said.
DeBruin, 32, of Poland, and Young, 29, of Lewiston, started as DJ rivals.
Each was a full-time admissions counselor, DeBruin at Central Maine Community College and Young at then-Andover College, working events on the weekends.
"We were actually losing business to each other for a couple years," DeBruin said.
In 2009 they joined forces. They also operate the Entertainment Redefined Tour, a rolling dance club that travels to schools and colleges.
Their new space had been empty for five years, last home to Rockin' Robins nightclub. It has been renovated with remodeled bathrooms, a new dance floor and higher balcony railings.
"We have no interest in operating a nightclub two or three days a week," DeBruin said. He does, though, like the idea of chem-free events for 14-to-18-year-olds. "We don't think there's too much to offer that age group in this area."
The facility is licensed to sell pre-packaged foods like soda, water and candy. It doesn't have a liquor license, for now relying on caterer's licenses for events like weddings, DeBruin said.
The ballroom can fit 345 people seated banquet-style. Weekend day rentals for that room start at $1,000 with additional fees for DJ services, specialty lighting and multimedia extras.
They've already heard from one high school about having a prom in the space.
"We're looking to compliment what's here," said Young, who moved from Northern Maine six years ago. "My time being here, things have certainly changed a lot. Things continue to grow, we're excited to be part of it."
Skye Event Center plans to host a 21-plus New Year's Eve party catered by DaVinci's on Dec. 31. Tickets are $25 per person.