Friday, October 2, 2009

Midtown group's last-ditch effort to derail Gidewon nightclub

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2009 at 8:51 PM

click to enlarge Michael Gidewon
  • Michael Gidewon

"Midtown's future hangs in the balance."

So claims a letter by the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance that urges Mayor Shirley Franklin and the city's License Review Board to deny a liquor license application by nightclub impressario Michael Gidewon.

As you'll recall from our Sept. 7 cover story and other news coverage, the Gidewon family is seeking to open a pair of 10,000-square-foot clubs on Peachtree Street in the shadow of the Loews luxury hotel now under construction and catty-corner from the 1010 Midtown condo tower.

Joined by older brother Alex and three siblings, Gidewon has been the force behind the mega-clubs Vision, Compound and the Velvet Room.Many surrounding neighbors and business owners have loudly denounced the new clubs for weeks now, persuading the Midtown Neighbors' Association and NPU-E to officially oppose them. The final showdown comes Tuesday, Oct. 6, before the License Review Board. If the LRB recommends denial and Franklin confirms that stance, then the Gidewon's only recourse would be a lawsuit — which, I believe would be very difficult to win.

That's why the MPSA has pulled out all the stops in its letter expressing opposition (PDF), of which we'll give you but a taste:

As members of the Midtown community, from residents to investors to business owners, we urge you to continue the vision that has been cultivated for this community and to support the stewards of the community in opposing the liquor licenses for the nightclubs proposed for this critical block along Atlanta’s Peachtree Corridor and allow Midtown to continue its position as a model community for smart growth.

Yes, the boldfacing is theirs. Even more striking than the letter detailing Midtown's evolution over the past few years is the long list of signatories, a heavy-hitting group that includes super-developer Stephen Selig, Cousins CEO Larry Gellerstedt, parking-deck magnate Michael Robison and King & Spalding Managing Partner Mason Stephenson, as well as several local bank and hotel managers.

It had to hurt that even Neil Thall, president of the Four Seasons condo association, signed on, considering that both Alex and Michael Gidewon are resident members.

Tuesday should be very interesting.

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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