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Myth Live nightclub could be demolished in Maplewood

A developer is looking to demolish Myth in favor of a 241-unit apartment complex, subject to city council approval.

MAPLEWOOD, Minnesota – The Myth Live nightclub may not be staying in Maplewood much longer.

After the city approved $6.4 million in tax increase funding Monday night, council will soon consider allowing a developer to demolish Myth in favor of a 241-unit apartment building on the site. This decision should be made by the end of the calendar year.

Patrick Brama, who attended the meeting on Monday as a representative of Enclave Companies, described the project as a “market-priced, four-story apartment complex.” He said a purchase agreement is in place and Enclave plans to close the property early next year, clearing the way for demolition and construction.

“We think this is a great opportunity for people who want to balance work and private life,” Brama said. “It is easy to walk with all kinds of attractions nearby.”

Maplewood Mayor Marylee Abrams has publicly stated her support for the project, as part of the city’s vision for the redevelopment of the North End near the Maplewood Mall.

“I think it’s absolutely essential,” Abrams said. “It will create jobs. It will bring people for retail and restaurants there. It will create some synergy.”

Myth Live, meanwhile, seems determined to fight the scrapping process.

Bill Skolnick, an attorney for Myth, said in an email that he didn’t have a copy of the purchase agreement calling for the nightclub to be demolished. He also emailed KARE 11 a copy of Myth’s lease with owner Lighthouse Management Group, Inc., showing a clause regarding a 10-year extension option. “The Landlord and the Tenant agree,” the lease states, “that so long as the Tenant does not breach the Lease, the term of the Lease shall be extended until 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 of lease options that we will exercise.”

This is just the latest legal battle involving Myth, which unsuccessfully sued the city of Maplewood in 2019 over a course of action that required management to follow certain rules to retain a liquor license. Before the pandemic led to reduced events, Maplewood police said they responded to more than 200 calls to Myth between 2017 and 2019, including one person with a neck injury.

Andy Horng, who promoted events at Myth for around a decade through a third-party contractor, defended the club in an interview with KARE 11. He said he felt safer at Myth than in downtown Minneapolis clubs and called Myth “like a tome second home.”

“I speak on behalf of Asian Americans, that’s where we all go, that’s Myth nightclub. That’s where we’re going to have fun,” Horng said. “It’s going to hurt. It hits your heart. If we lose Myth, we have no place to relax.”

If the council approves the plan, Enclave could open the new apartments in April 2023, followed by around two years of construction.

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement