Clintonville dentist Dr. Brian H. Kvitko said he's gone through plenty of for-rent signs at his satellite office on Old Henderson Road since buying the property from a retiring practitioner in May 2015.
No tenants, just signs.
"The for-rent signs just get all faded and fall off the window," Kvitko said.
The dentist, whose main practice, Dr. Kvitko & Associates, is at 4308 N. High St., said the reason the rental portion of his satellite office remains unoccupied is due solely to the presence nearby of Kahoots, 4522 Kenny Road.
"It's a strip joint," Kvitko said Nov. 21. "Call a spade a spade."
That explains why Kvitko and several other owners of property in the vicinity of Kahoots attended the Nov. 7 meeting of the Northwest Civic Association board of trustees to voice their wholehearted support for a proposal from Preferred Living that would see an apartment project rise in the place of the gentleman's club and several other parcels on 40 acres.
Their position put them at odds with people living in the area who, while hardly happy at the presence of Kahoots, fear a 215-unit apartment complex would make an already-serious traffic problem practically unbearable.
"I cannot make a left turn off Francisco Road onto Kenny any longer," Roy Wentzel said Nov. 7.
Adding apartments around the corner on Kenny Road "would just be a complete nightmare," Wentzel said.
"Density is a really important issue for us," board President Nick Cipiti told Jared Smith of Preferred Living during the meeting.
"It is terrible trying to get through there," said Alyson Miles, secretary to the NWCA board of trustees. "The strip club's not causing the traffic problems now."
The club is, however, causing major headaches for the owners of rental properties in the vicinity.
"I'm here in total support of this project," said George Cleary, who owns a business in the area.
"This is a dead zone," Kvitko said during the meeting. "You can't rent anything there. It's a question of: You're near Kahoots. I can't think of a better use. I think this would be awesome."
Kvitko said last week he thought he'd made an awesome deal in 2015 when he bought the Old Henderson Road practice and building from a retiring dentist. The site would provide his Clintonville practice an outpost in another part of Columbus and some rental income from the portion of the building not given over to dentistry.
"To me, it was almost icing on the cake -- or so I thought," Kvitko said.
The cake has had no icing, as it turns out.
"I'm at three and a half years of not being able to rent it," Kvitko said of the 3,117 square feet available in the building.
Smith said Preferred Living had entered into contracts to purchase the properties, including Kahoots, the website of which claims it's an "upscale gentleman's club with one of the biggest wine and beer selections in the city ... and over 150 of the most beautiful performers in the Midwest."
However, the July 11 arrest of adult film actress Stormy Daniels at a strip club in Northland nearly scotched the deal.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford and who alleges she had an affair with President Donald Trump in 2006, was arrested at Sirens, 6190 Cleveland Ave., for allegedly violating a state law that bars adult entertainers from having physical contact with customers.
After her arrest, Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein announced his office would no longer prosecute those charged under the statute "because of issues with how the language within the law could be interpreted," according to a July 26 story in The Columbus Dispatch.
Smith told civic association trustees Nov. 7 the New Jersey-based owners of Kahoots had been willing to sell the club to Preferred Living only because the anti-touching law, passed in 2007, "hurt the business model."
Following the city attorney's announcement, "the owner no longer wanted to be in contract" based on apparent expectations Kahoots once again would be profitable, Smith said.
The ensuing legal battle, however, left the purchase agreement in place, said attorney David Hodge of Underhill and Hodge.
"If this project is rejected, the contract to purchase Kahoots would terminate, and based upon Preferred Living's experience with the property owner to date, the property owner is reluctant to sell and would not be willing to enter into another contract to sell the property," Hodge wrote in an email.
A representative of Kahoots in Columbus referred requests for comment to Joe Sullo in Hartford, Connecticut.
Sullo is listed on the business' incorporation documents filed in the Ohio Secretary of State's office, which list Kahoots as a "full-service restaurant."
Sullo did not return telephone calls requesting comment.
Kvitko said he strongly supports the Preferred Living proposal, which was before the civic association trustees Nov. 7 purely for informational purposes. The formal request for the panel's support for a council variance needed to pave the way for the 215-unit complex is scheduled for the board's Dec. 5 meeting, Hodge said.
"It would take an eyesore, take a kind of negative thing to the community, and make it into something vibrant -- something that attracts young professionals," Kvitko said.