City investigating new night club that was hit with stop-work order 7 months ago

The Atlanta city court solicitor and police are investigating a planned new nightclub in Atlanta that was hit with a stop-work order seven months ago.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Richard Belcher learned a frustrated neighborhood group contends the city has ignored its complaints about obvious violations of the city’s own order.

The city doesn’t dispute that any interior construction work at an old church on 14th Street has been unauthorized since Feb. 1 when the city slapped a stop-work order on the building.

After that, nothing. That led the head of the Home Park Neighborhood Association to conclude a whole city department is asleep at the wheel.

”The city is just … they’re not doing anything,” said Kathy Boehmer of the Home Park Neighborhood Association.

There’s no question that work continued for months after it should have stopped.

When Belcher visited the site at 380 14th Street on Tuesday, the signs of construction were everywhere – both outside and inside of what looks like an old church that most recently operated as a theater under the name of Relapse.

Boehmer and her Home Park neighbors near Georgia Tech made sure to document the work, like the arrival of huge HVAC units this summer.

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”Twice I’ve sent in pictures, dates to the city, the main inspector who went out and issued the original stop-work order, and they didn’t even respond,” Boehmer said.

The city has also not responded to any emails about why they’re still doing construction despite the stop-work order.

There’s no question about the existence of the stop work order going back to last February. The city provided photographs, but Boehmer said someone tore it down after she sent her HVAC pictures to the city permits office.

Meanwhile, she said the work continued night and day.

”They did work at night. They work on weekends. Neighbors say they’ve seen workmen with little headlights on their heads because who’s going to be out inspecting this kind of stuff in the middle of the night or on weekends?” Boehmer said.

Belcher knocked on the door and left a card at the construction site, but no one appeared to be working.

Boehmer said she believes the club is going through a soft opening that began a couple of weeks ago, but we couldn’t confirm that during our visit.

Two attorneys told Belcher they have nothing to do with the prospective club.

Boehmer said she’s hoping her city council member can help because she says the permits office has been dysfunctional.

”It’s just nothing. There’s no accountability. There’s no responsibility. I mean they’re just … it’s just crickets over there,” Boehmer said.

A city spokesperson emailed Belcher on Tuesday afternoon saying the club does not have a certificate of occupancy, which means it can’t legally open for business.

The spokesperson said the department of planning, the solicitor’s office and the Atlanta Police Department are all looking into the matter.

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