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Mr. Smothers said his trouble with the club spiraled out of control in October, when the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue shut down the club on the same night Howard University homecoming festivities were planned. The city says the club owed almost $300,000 in back taxes. Mr. Smothers estimates he could have made $500,000 that weekend had he been allowed to stay open. Unable to reopen the club, he filed for bankruptcy in December.

Mr. Barnes said one reason for Love’s demise is that, like all other clubs, it faced competition from newer hot spots as it aged.

“There are so many more new venues in Washington,” said Mr. Barnes, comparing the nightlife scene now to the nine years he ran the megaclub.

Mr. Barnes capitalized on his success with Love and opened the much smaller Park on Fourteenth nightclub in Northwest.

“I built Park and it kind of cannibalized Love,” he said of the similar clientele the two ventures drew.

Mr. Barnes said there aren’t any big buildings left in the city suitable for conversion into large nightclubs, but he doesn’t think megaclubs now in operation are necessarily doomed — despite the trend.

Dying breed

Another megaclub, Fur, opened in 2004 near the intersection of New York Avenue and North Capitol Street Northeast. At the time, its neighbors were mainly warehouses and parking lots. Since then, hundreds of millions of dollars in construction projects have begun and the neighborhood was stylishly rebranded “NoMa,” for its location north of Massachusetts Avenue.

DJs at Fur dropped their last untz-untz in August, after the property and a nearby lot were purchased by Skanska USA Commercial Development Inc. for $12 million. The development company plans to build a 300-unit apartment complex where the vacant nightclub — which advertised a capacity of 3,000 people — now stands.

A similar scenario played out in 2006 along the city’s industrial Southeast waterfront, when clubs including the well-known Nation nightclub were closed to make way for Nationals Park.

Up the block from Fur, a megaclub called Ibiza that opened in 2007 is on the verge of sale after its owners declared bankruptcy. Recent court filings indicate an agreement is near for the 30,000-square-foot club.

Neither Ibiza’s landlords nor operators returned messages seeking comment about the troubled club. But recent court filings give a glimpse of its rocky financial footing, showing operators have paid amounts varying from $27,000 to $53,000 in rent in recent months. Although the club brought in more than $143,000 in revenue in January, expenses that month put it in the hole by $36,000.

Ibiza stands adjacent to newly completed hotels and apartment complexes whose operators have complained about noise — particularly from the club’s rooftop terrace.

Security at megaclubs also has been a concern.

ABRA as of last year had more than 100 investigations on file regarding incidents at Fur over the course its operation. The club also was targeted as a trouble spot after a drive-by shooting in March 2013 injured 13 people outside a nearby apartment complex around the time the club was letting out for the night. Two months later, a man was stabbed at Fur and it was closed temporarily by police.

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