Mars Hill Church is buying the property that was once home to the controversial Belltown nightclub Tabella Restaurant & Lounge. The property at 2333...

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Mars Hill Church is buying the property that was once home to the controversial Belltown nightclub Tabella Restaurant & Lounge.

The property at 2333 Western Ave., which is expected to sell for $3.95 million this week, will become Mars Hill’s new downtown campus, said Tim Gaydos, the church’s downtown pastor.

The transformation will be a welcome change for Belltown residents who complained to the city about the nightclub. Opened in 2005, the club quickly developed a reputation for attracting fights and large inebriated crowds.

After a July 2 shooting down the street from Tabella that injured an 18-year-old bystander, Mayor Greg Nickels unsuccessfully asked the state Liquor Control Board for an emergency suspension of Tabella’s license.

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But the nightclub’s liquor license was coming up for annual renewal, and city officials vowed to challenge the renewal.

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