Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Business Owners React to Proposed Gentleman’s Club

by Christina London

Neighbors are not the only ones who have opinions about a proposed gentleman’s club on Stimson Avenue. Owners of nearby businesses are also speaking out. Most owners Athens Midday talked to declined our invitation to go on camera, but say they are opposed to the project.

Lili Chandler owns Bella Vino, located directly across the street from the proposed site of the club (the former New-to-You thrift store.) Chandler says she feels conflicted because she sees both sides of the issue.

Hear more from Bella Vino owner Lili Chandler

Neighbors say their number one concern about the club is the negative economic impact it would have on surrounding businesses. Chandler agrees. She says people have been working hard in recent years to build up the Stimson Avenue Corridor, but the addition of a gentleman’s club could turn it into a “red-light district.”

Chandler expresses concern about the club’s potential impact on the business district

President of the Athens Economic Development Council Jennifer Simon says the Chamber of Commerce has not taken an official stance on the issue, but she understands how such an establishment could take away from recent development. She says the Stimson Avenue Corridor has a lot of potential, especially with the new Palmer Place Apartments set to open in fall 2008.

The Board of Zoning Appeals will meet February 12 to make a decision on the proposal.

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