COLUMBUS (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — The former Alrosa Villa nightclub and music venue, which has a dark past, will get a new lease on life as an affordable housing development.

Columbus City Council passed legislation on Monday night to allow the site at 5055 Sinclair Road on the city’s north side to be rezoned. Cleveland-based developer NRP Group has plans to build a $38 million, 180-unit apartment complex there. Before the nightclub shut down, the Alrosa Villa was a popular music venue. A gunman shot and killed four people there in 2004 during a concert, including former Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott.

City staff had recommended disapproval of the rezoning because the area plan for that location was an “employment center” use, like office or industrial uses or uses that create jobs. But Councilwoman Priscilla Tyson, who chairs the zoning committee, said the plan adds housing for those making between 30% and 60% of the area median income, something lacking in Columbus.

“We are in desperate need of affordable housing,” Tyson told Columbus Business First.

Tyson said that because no one was currently looking to develop the site for “employment center” use, the council supported an affordable housing use. The recommendation from city staff was a “soft no,” she said.

The 10,000-square-foot nightclub property was listed for sale in late 2019. Co-owner Diana Colasante said she and her siblings took over running the bar when their parents, Al and Rosa, died. In 2020 the bar closed for good, as it struggled to survive while events were off limits amid the pandemic, Colasante said.

NRP is under contract to buy the property, Colasante said. Before closing due to the pandemic, Alrosa Villa had been hosting concerts since 1974.

The developer did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

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