“From day one, we have had a relationship as a community organization with the people here at (Dome Atlanta),” said Bishop John Lewis, chairman of the Historic Vine City Civic Association. “Every complaint that has been addressed to us, we have brought it to the officials here at the Dome. And they have worked to remedy every single one of them.”
Brown clarified reports that Dome Atlanta is owned by well-known Atlanta-based promoter Alex Gidewon. Michelle Falconer, the facility’s events manager, explained that Gidewon has leased the facility to host some of the parties that have sparked much of the controversy.
The venue’s actual owner is a developer named James Crawford, owner of Jaycee Atlanta Development. The Maryland-based development firm has offices in Midtown. Fulton County property records show Dome Atlanta sits on 2.6 acres made up of 21 different land parcels. Jaycee Atlanta Development is listed as owner of 14 of those parcels.
Crawford was not present during Tuesday’s media gathering. But Falconer emphasized that the tent facility is an events center designed to host weddings, banquets and corporate galas as well as nightlife events.
Falconer reiterated that Dome Atlanta is not a nightclub, despite the reputation its quickly garnered in the surrounding community. She said just a handful of events have been staged at the venue since it opened in December.
“Corporate America is not throwing events right now,” she explained. “So unfortunately, the people that are having events are more club life people versus corporate America.”
Falconer presented a timeline of events that indicated the tent officially went up Dec. 13. Since then, the venue has hosted eight special events, including three days of festivities for the NBA All-Star Weekend in March. The Dome had a Dec. 19 kickoff event, partnering with the Atlanta Housing Authority for a holiday community giveaway. It also hosted a Super Bowl viewing party Feb. 7 and was the locale for a March 20 celebrity-filled funeral for Instagram sensation Lyric “Yhung” Chanel. The 13-year-old girl spent years battling brain cancer and became an inspiration, garnering attention from superstars like Beyonce and Cardi B before she died.
Dome Atlanta will host another funeral Wednesday for Alicia Merrell, a 27-year-old mother of five shot dead along Magnolia Way on May 17.