MAPLEWOOD, Minn. — The Myth Live nightclub may not stand much longer in Maplewood.
After the city approved $6.4 million in Tax Increment Financing Monday evening, the council will soon consider allowing a developer to demolish Myth in favor of a 241-unit apartment building on the site. That decision is expected to happen by the end of the calendar year.
Patrick Brama, who attended the meeting Monday as a representative of "Enclave Companies," described the project as a "market-rate, four-story, high-amenity apartment complex." He said a purchase agreement is in place, and Enclave plans to close on the property early next year, paving the way for demolition and construction.
"We think it's a great opportunity for people that want to have the work-life balance," Brama said. "There's walkability with all kinds of attractions nearby."
Maplewood Mayor Marylee Abrams has gone on record supporting the project, as a part of the city's vision for redevelopment of the North End near the Maplewood Mall.
"I think it's absolutely critical," Abrams said. "It will bring jobs. It will bring people for the retail and restaurants over there. It'll create some synergy."
Myth Live, meanwhile, appears determined to fight the demolition process.
Bill Skolnick, an attorney for Myth, indicated in an email that he does not have a copy of the purchase agreement that seeks demolition of the nightclub. He also emailed KARE 11 a copy of Myth's lease with landlord Lighthouse Management Group, Inc., pointing to a clause about a 10-year extension option. "Landlord and Tenant agree," the lease reads, "that so long as Tenant is not in default of the Lease, the term of the Lease shall be extended to December 31, 2033 ('Extension Period')." Lighthouse Management did not return a message seeking comment.
Kim Brokke, a representative for Myth, told KARE 11 in an email that "we have 11 years worth of lease options which we will exercise."
It's just the latest legal battle involving Myth, which unsuccessfully sued the city of Maplewood in 2019 over an action plan that required management to follow certain rules to retain a liquor license. Before the pandemic led to scaled-back events, Maplewood Police said they responded to more than 200 calls at Myth between 2017 and 2019, including a person shot in the neck.
Andy Horng, who has promoted events at Myth for about a decade through a third-party contractor, defended the club in an interview with KARE 11. He said he feels safer at Myth than at downtown Minneapolis clubs and called Myth "like a second home to me."
"I speak on behalf of Asian Americans, that's where we all go, is Myth nightclub. That's where we go to have fun," Horng said. "It's gonna hurt. It hits you in the heart. If we lose Myth, we have no place to unwind."
If the council signs off on the plan, Enclave could break ground on the new apartments in April 2023, followed by about two years of construction.
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