Ruling clears way for razing of nightclub

The end may be near for the Whim night­club in Sta­tion Square.

For­est City En­ter­prises, the Sta­tion Square owner, pad­locked the doors of the club Thurs­day af­ter Com­mon Pleas Judge Joseph James ruled that it had fol­lowed proper pro­ce­dure in ter­mi­nat­ing Whim’s lease in the East Ware­house.

The de­ci­sion ap­pears to clear the way for For­est City to de­mol­ish the ware­house to cre­ate 316 park­ing spaces. The de­vel­oper planned to start Tues­day, and spokes­man Jeff Lin­ton said that is still the case.

In his or­der, Judge James said the vari­ance For­est City re­ceived from the city’s zon­ing board of ad­just­ment ear­lier this year to change the use of the prop­erty to com­mer­cial park­ing amounted to the ap­proval of a re­de­vel­op­ment plan. He also ruled that the writ­ten no­tice given to Whim ter­mi­nat­ing the lease was valid.

Whim had ar­gued in its own law­suit that the lease ter­mi­na­tion was im­proper be­cause For­est City had not got­ten ap­proval from the city’s plan­ning com­mis­sion for its re­de­vel­op­ment plans.

At­tor­neys for Whim could not be reached for com­ment.

For­est City wants to start the dem­o­li­tion next week so the new park­ing will be ready by Sept. 1, as re­quired un­der the Cleve­land de­vel­oper’s agree­ment with its lender.

The new lot would com­ple­ment about 1,130 ex­ist­ing spaces on the east side of Sta­tion Square. For­est City ex­pects to need the new spaces when it moves for­ward with plans to de­velop apart­ments or con­domin­i­ums on other parts of the prop­erty. It cur­rently is seek­ing a part­ner for such a de­vel­op­ment.

Whim is the lone tenant left in the East Ware­house, which for de­cades served as one of the city’s top night spots.

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