A palatial mansion controversially rented for nightclub-style parties that the city says were illegal is heading to a foreclosure auction on Sept. 4, according to an online notice.
Once owned by music star Kenny Rogers, the 4499 Garmon Road N.W. mansion will be auctioned on the Fulton County Courthouse steps with an opening bid of $2.15 million, according to an Auction.com listing.
It remains to be seen what effect, if any, that will have on the string of party bookings. Tasia Holdorf, who claimed at a July neighborhood meeting to be living in the mansion and arranging to buy it, had little to say about the auction.
“I’m aware of everything that’s going on there,” she said. She declined further comment, saying she was at work and would call back later, but did not.
Holdorf is facing an Oct. 1 municipal court trial for code violations related to a Fourth of July party at the mansion, according to city online records.
The owners of record in the county’s online database remain Adeyinka “Yinka” Adesokan and Paula Nelson, who bought the mansion from Rogers in 2006. Adesokan and Nelson are out of the country, according to city officials, and phone numbers listed for them are disconnected. The mansion’s “occupancy status is unknown,” according to the Auction.com listing.
The listing says the owners are represented by the law firm Barrett Daffin Frappier Levine and Block. The firm’s call center said the auction is being handled by attorney Ellen Shepherd, who did not return a phone message.
Commercial party venues are already illegal in residential areas, but complicated ownership issues have made enforcement and citations a problem on Garmon Road, officials say. Residents complained of at least 23 parties since January, creating noise and traffic with up to 300 guests and sometimes with alcohol service. Promoters even delivered guests by helicopter and displayed an AR-15-style rifle on social media as security, residents say, citing videos and social media posts. A Fourth of July party, where hit rapper Fabolous was among the hosts, was criticized as especially loud and disturbing.
City officials have said they have successfully gotten promoters and bookers to cancel or move events slated to be held at the mansion.
National media reports show that renting mansions for ticketed parties and concerts is a booming business, partly as mansion-owners may be cash-strapped and partly due to cities cracking down on nightclubs and sending nightlife underground. Short-term rental sites like Airbnb.com are one place party mansions can be found, including one that drew similar controversy on Buckhead’s Peachtree-Dunwoody Road in 2016.
But Atlanta is also seeing specialty sites, such as MansionHouseAtlanta.com, where the “Garmon Mansion” was rented until recently.
More than 100 residents showed up at the July neighborhood meeting, organized by the Mt. Paran-Northside Citizens Association.
At the meeting, Holdorf made the surprise announcement that she was buying the mansion, though she declined to provide any details, and promised no further events would be held. She said she accepted “full responsibility” for the Fourth of July party and claimed any ticketing or advertising was done by friends without her knowledge. But she also complained of police “harassment” and unequal treatment, and a friend who helped organize that party suggested that race played a role in neighbors’ complaints.
Maj. Barry Shaw, the Atlanta Police commander for Buckhead’s Zone 2, denied there was harassment. At an Aug. 7 meeting of NPU-A, he expressed doubt about Holdorf’s claim of purchasing the mansion and said police continued to monitor it for code-violating event bookings.
Sally Riker, the president of the Citizens Association, did not respond to a request for comment about the situation since the July neighborhood meeting.