Atlanta builder Steve Brock recently sued a nightclub owner to keep him from relocating his gritty establishment to a new neighborhood where Brock has just started his community of half-million-dollar homes. He's trying to convince Masquerade music venue owner Brian McNamara to look elsewhere on the Westside of the city for a spot to re-open his business.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Brock is no stranger to up-and-coming neighborhoods. He's built his cozy Craftsman-style bunglaows near questionable landmarks such as strip clubs, a sewage treatment plant, a landfill, and a prison. He banks on “the value proposition” of discounted land, the article says, but now that strategy may be backfiring.

The Masquerade has attracted a funky array of patrons and bands since it opened on North Avenue in the late 1980s. Its three floors of stages have hosted goth and punk, heavy metal, hip-hop, even country.

“It almost feels like the building is going to come down when the crowd gets into it,” said Edgar Alverson, who sometimes goes there to see bands with his wife. “It’s got its own unique feel … Any kind of venue with character is more interesting than a cookie-cutter type thing.”

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