An affordable housing development is planned for the current site of Alrosa Villa, the Columbus, Ohio, venue where legendary Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed while he played onstage with his band Damageplan in December 2004. Four other people were also killed that night.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the plot was put on the market in 2019 for $1.295 million, including the 10,000-square-foot music venue, two lots totaling 7.2 acres, a liquor license, and various equipment. The venue hosted major hard rock and metal shows for 45 years, and in its heyday, booked such acts as Pantera on the Cowboys from Hell tour, Ratt, Manowar, Static-X, and many more.
Tragically, the club’s memory was permanently scarred when Nathan Gale, an ex-Marine, stormed the stage and shot Dimebag and others as Damageplan played a show. Police officer and first responder James D. Niggemeyer arrived minutes into Gale’s rampage, fatally shooting the gunman. Though no motive was officially decided, it was determined Gale suffered from mental illness and potentially held a psychotic grudge against Darrell and his brother Vinnie Paul for the dissolution of Pantera.
Vinnie Paul, who died of an enlarged heart and coronary artery disease in 2018, told the “Talk is Jericho” podcast in 2014. “It was a really hardcore, tragic event, and the guy [Nathan Gale] wanted to kill me, too. And somehow or another, I was lucky enough to escape that, and I’m still here, and I will do everything and anything I can to carry on the legacy and the tradition that my brother always had.”
The Columbus City Council voted Monday (June 7th) to use $2.175 million from the city’s Affordable Housing Bond Fund for apartments to be built on the current location of Alrosa Villa. The $3.3-million project, called Sinclair Family Apartments, is an effort between the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and the NRP Group of Cleveland. According to the legislation, the development will consist of three, four-story buildings with one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments.
Many residents and internet commenters support the new housing development and the demolition of the club, considering its ties to tragedy. Following the mass shooting, Vinnie Paul sued the venue for negligence in allowing Gale to enter the premise armed by jumping a patio fence. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2007.
This former North Columbus nightclub will be replaced by affordable housing apartments.
Alrosa Villa drew national attention when a Marysville man got on stage in 2004 and shot and killed five people, including #Pantera and #Damageplan guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott. pic.twitter.com/DRR6WBOjEk
— Kalea Gunderson (@KaleaGunderson) June 8, 2021