Former Love Nightclub in NE DC Sold

Auction Brings Price of $5.1 Million

The former Love Nightclub, once the hottest nightspot in D.C., was auctioned for $5.1 million on May 1. Officials declined to identify the new owner.

Tranzon Fox, one of the largest real estate auction companies in the country, said that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court had ordered the sale. The 35,000 sq. ft. nightclub, at 1350 Okie St. NE, was considered D.C.'s largest venue before it closed in late 2013. It held 3,500 patrons on four floors and is constructed out of masonry block with a brick front and steel truss roof. The D.C. tax office assessed the property for $6.4 million.

The nightclub originally opened as Dream in 2001 and struggled financially until it changed its name to Love in 2005. The former owner, Marc Barnes, sold the club to real estate investor Dean Smothers in 2010 for $7.1 million. The club shut down after it had its liquor license suspended for an unpaid tax bill of more than $160,000.

 Smothers did not respond to two email requests for an interview.

Love Nightclub was known for hosting parties for today's biggest stars, including Gilbert Arenas'25th birthday party. Diddy hosted, Busta Rhymes, Lil Wayne, The Game, and T.I. performed. Other guests included Redskins Jason Campbell and Clinton Portis, the Capitals AlexanderOvechkin, starlet Megan Good and other Wizards players like Etan Thomas, Antawn Jamison and Jarvis Hayes. To even get a table at such an event cost between $4,000 and $16,000.

The club is a half block away from the Douglas Development Hecht Co. Warehouse. The area, known as the Hecht Warehouse District, is being redeveloped into a six-story building with two stories dedicated to retail, restaurant and mixed-use office space and the remaining four stories to about 300 residential units. Next door, the development company is building a seven-story parking garage with a ground floor for retail space.

Some residents are fine with the nightclub being gone and wonder what is going to take its place. Michael Thomas, 55, said that he would rather the club be turned into something more productive for the community. "I had an accident about five years ago where a drunk driver coming from Love totaled my car," he said. "I'm just turned off the club completely. I'm glad it's gone and hopefully, it'll be turned into something positive for our community."