The Cheetah Strip Club Under Contract To Be Sold To Developer: Sources
One of the most sought-after pieces of property in Midtown Atlanta may finally be getting new ownership, which could mean the end of an era for one of the city's most prominent strip clubs.
Chicago developer CA Ventures has agreed to buy The Cheetah for more than $30M, sources familiar with the transaction tell Bisnow. The Cheetah, which Thrillist once ranked as the best strip club in Georgia, will continue to operate at the location for an undetermined period of time after the sale closes, which is scheduled to occur within the next two months, sources said.
CA Ventures Chief Investment Officer Nishant Bakaya declined to comment. Bisnow reached out to The Cheetah owner Bill Hagood through his attorney, Schulten Ward Turner & Weiss partner Kevin Ward, who declined to comment. In a July 27 email, The Cheetah Vice President Jack Braglia denied that the property was under contract.
“The rumors never cease regarding our property,” Braglia wrote at the time. He didn't return messages seeking comment Thursday.
The Cheetah, at 887 Spring St. in the heart of Midtown, has been lusted after by developers for years. The property is entitled for high-density commercial development, according to city records. The fair market value of the property is $1.28M, according to Fulton County Tax Commissioner records.
Developers Cousins Properties and Selig Enterprises each made attempts to buy it in 2017, the Atlanta Business Chroncile reported at the time. The overtures were rebuffed.
"I get a call at least once a week from someone," Braglia told the ABC in 2017. "It is not for sale."
Founded in the 1970s, The Cheetah has thrived in Atlanta's adult entertainment scene and even opened a high-end restaurant above the club, Alluvia. Midtown has boomed around the beige, low-rise building as companies have gravitated to the area in hopes of attracting talent being churned out by Georgia Tech less than a half-mile away.
Just across from The Cheetah, at the corner of 8th and Spring streets, NCR recently opened a 750K SF headquarters, home to 5,000 employees. NCR paid the owners of The Cheetah in 2018 to remove its spinning rooftop sign.
Last month, Sotheby's International Realty Atlanta Fine Homes broker Shawn Daugherty filed two zoning verifications for the site, which are sometimes filed as part of the due diligence process of a pending sale, Atlanta Department of City Planning Commissioner Tim Keane told Bisnow. He declined to comment further on the permits.
Daugherty also declined to comment on the pending sale.
CA Ventures, an apartment and student housing developer, has been active in Midtown over the past few years. The firm scored $100M in construction financing in March to start the 33-story 903 Peachtree apartment project, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. That site, just four blocks east of The Cheetah, is now home to two restaurants, but CA Ventures is preparing to replace them with 417 apartments.
The developer is also planning a 27-story, 320-unit student housing tower across from The Varsity at Spring Street and North Avenue, about a mile to the south of the strip club. CA Ventures is also planning a 22-story apartment tower at 340 East Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead Village.
Last year, The Cheetah settled a series of lawsuits filed by a group of former dancers over whether the dancers were to be considered full-time employees. The club is still in litigation with other former employees over employment statuses, Ward said.
CORRECTION, AUG. 17, 5:10 P.M. ET: A previous version of the story incorrectly stated which cases remain in litigation. The original racketeering case filed by a former dancer was dismissed by the plaintiff in 2017. The remaining lawsuits focused on the employment status of the dancers. Many of those have been settled and some remain in litigation.