Expect a follow-up post shortly with information clarifying this situation.
Could the most charmingly Medieval venue in Atlanta's musical history be destined for the wrecking ball? It would appear so — but exactly when isn't clear. Atlanta Beltline officials came before the city council Monday with plans that could drastically alter the residential landscape around Historic Fourth Ward Park. On a 3.3-acre site that includes the circa-1900 Masquerade nightclub and its grounds, the Beltline has applied for rezoning that would allow for structures of up to 22 stories, according to the Saporta Report. Earlier this year, Invest Atlanta shopped for development proposals for a long, thin one-acre piece of land the agency owns between The Masquerade and the Beltline's Eastside Trail. Apparently, they found no takers; the rezoning proposal presented this week includes that land and the 2.1-acre parcel on which The Masquerade sits. Masquerade officials have not returned inquiries about their plans for the former excelsior mill on North Avenue, which has operated as a mid-sized music venue for 25 years. In an interview with Curbed Atlanta last year, Masquerade spokesperson Jeremiah Edmond said the venue had no plans of closing or relocating, despite encroachment from nearby residential development that had consumed parking spaces for concert-goers. Rumors of an impending move to venues like Atlantic Station, Edmond said, have been frequent since the building changed ownership several years ago.
The Beltline seeks to rezone the Masquerade's land to a classification that allows for structures up to 225 feet high, the website reports. That might seem drastically oversized for the area (and could spell doom for the 755 North apartment project's coveted views), but consider this: Ponce City Market reaches up to nine or 10 stories tall, and that complex is slated to one day include a 16-story residential tower where North Avenue and the Beltline meet.
The Masquerade property has 243 feet of North Avenue frontage that could make for a compelling retail alternative to the goliath across the street. Property records list its owner as being Poncey Highlands Investors 1, LLC.
One thing's for sure: The Masquerade no longer operates in a gritty little intown pocket. More than 1,000 upscale apartments are scheduled to open this year and next around the fringes of Historic Fourth Ward Park. That's in addition to hundreds of relatively new units that AMLI operates at the park's edge now, with the AMLI Old Fourth Ward and AMLI Parkside communities.
As for a next step, the city council could vote on the Beltline's rezoning request by the end of this year.
· BeltLine a player in dense projects near Piedmont, Fourth Ward parks [Saporta]
· Parking Purgatory: The Masquerade Vows to Soldier On [Curbed Atlanta]
· For Sale By City: Wee Lil Sliver Of Land Along The Beltline [Curbed]
· Historic 4th Ward Park: Atlanta's New Apartment Mecca [Curbed]