Judge Orders Eviction of V-Live Nightclub on Ocean Drive

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Judge Orders Eviction of V-Live Nightclub on Ocean Drive:

Club owner, landlord, and condo association had tense relationship

The door to V-Live on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach is padlocked after a Miami-Dade County Court judge ordered the eviction of the nightclub and its premises returned to its owner. Following a more than year-long dispute, the order came after V-Live’s operator, Akinyele Adams, failed to live up to a settlement agreement that included payment of back rent and closing on the purchase of the club by May 1.  
Meanwhile, Memorial Day Weekend events sponsored by an outside promoter at the venue are no longer being advertised. The City of Miami Beach recently enacted legislation to prevent such events in private clubs during high impact periods
E.D.Y. Inc., the owner of the space at 1330 Ocean Drive filed suit against Twin 918 LLC last May seeking an “Action to Evict” following non-payment of rent for the months February through May 2018 and seeking accelerated payments for the remainder of the lease in the amount of $1,038,666.29. Adams, a former rap artist, is the Managing Member of Twin 918.
Twin 918 and E.D.Y. had a five-year lease that started on March 1, 2016. Annual rent in the first year was $240,000 ($22,042 due on the first of each month) with yearly increases of 3%. The 3,800 sq ft space is located in two commercial units at the Netherland which Adams combined into one. In court filings he said he “invested in excess of one million dollars toward the buildout… to convert the Premises into a fashionable and upscale restaurant and dining experience.”
Over the past year, both sides filed various legal motions with Adams claiming he did not owe rent once he entered into an agreement to exercise an option to purchase the space. In the meantime, after being arrested five times and V-Live cited ten times for code violations that included playing music too loud, Adams told the Miami Herald he was being targeted by City officials and the Netherland Condo Association because of his race. 

Before V-Live even opened on Ocean Drive, it had a difficult relationship with nearby residents who heard rumors of a strip club invading their neighborhood. According to a Miami Herald article, Adams was a former manager at the now-closed King of Diamonds strip club which stoked fears about his plans for South Beach. Adams said he simply wanted to open a soul food restaurant.
Despite the fact strip clubs are illegal and assurances from City of Miami Beach officials that any such establishment would be shut down, the community kept a wary eye on the club. In October of 2016, the Netherland Condo Association filed suit against the City for approving the club after videos surfaced on social media promoting a “strip club”, according to a New Times article.

While V-Live was not a strip club, the Miami Herald described “scantily clad dancers who twirl around poles but don’t strip naked.”
In documents filed with the Court, Adams claimed that as a result of the actions by the Netherland Association and E.D.Y.’s failure to protect him from the Association’s “malicious efforts,” his “business has been substantially harmed, and sales have significantly declined.” As a result, financing for his planned $2.75 million purchase of the space “was interfered with.”
In October last year, the parties reached an agreement in which Adams acknowledged he owed rent in the amount of $178,048.13 for the months of February through September 2018. As part of the settlement, Adams was to close on the purchase of the property within 60 days for a total purchase price of $2,987,621.31. Adams sought an extension of the purchase agreement in December which was not granted.
On March 27, the Court approved a final agreement that gave Adams until May 1 to complete the sale transaction. In maintaining its jurisdiction over the case, the Court said if the closing did not occur, E.D.Y. “would be entitled to an immediate Writ of Possession” and on May 11 that writ was granted by Judge Michael Hanzman of the 11th Judicial Circuit with an order to the Miami-Dade County Sheriff to evict V-Live from the premises.
Miami Turn Up Entertainment LLC which had planned Memorial Day Weekend events at V-Live was still advertising the events until contacted Friday afternoon by RE:MiamiBeach. The non-refundable $60 MDW package included unlimited mixed drinks from 10 pm until midnight, cover charge, and “live dancers all night long.” A man who answered the promoter’s phone was clearly surprised when told of the closing. “We may have to go somewhere else if that’s the case. Wow.” The Eventbrite page advertising the MDW package was subsequently removed. No word on if the event has been rescheduled or if ticket holders will get their money back.
V-Live had a two-star rating on yelp with only 21 reviews. Bryan F. from Augusta, Georgia gave the nightclub one star in March: “This location is not closed, however it should be. This place is trash. Not worth the cover, AT ALL. Don’t waste your time.”
Other reviewers from the past year called promoted events “scams” saying ticket prices were increased when they arrived and food and beverage prices were not as advertised.

The number listed for V-Live goes to a voicemail that states if you lost your phone or are calling about “anything to do with the club, go to the club.” There is no acknowledgement that it is closed.

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