City orders closure of 1010 West venue in Parramore

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Photo by Jon Busdeker

The City of Orlando has placed “condemned” notices on the popular Parramore event venue, 1010 West (Website).

1010 West, named after it’s address of 1010 W. Church Street [GMap], is a former airplane hangar that was built in the early 1900s, just up the street from the new soccer stadium. Tucked behind an unassuming industrial exterior of metal and faded stucco, 1010 West is a funky, raw hall that was outfitted to serve for a variety of different events, including weddings, banquets, conferences, and church services.

As of last week, the pop-up event venue was condemned by the City of Orlando.

“It’s a really cool space, but it’s not necessarily safe.” – Brooke Bonnett

 

A City spokesperson told Bungalower that safety concerns were raised last September when City Hall first became aware that the warehouse had been used as an event space since spring of that same year. According to City code, public gathering in a warehouse is not allowed without proper permitting and none of the improvements carried out on the building had been permitted or sanctioned.

Photo by Jon Busdeker

The City brought in the tenants/owner of 1010, Ben Hoyer and Brad Cowherd, to aid them in being compliant with City regulations immediately.

Ben Hoyer, Executive Director at Downtown Credo (Website), is also the pastor of The Cross Orlando (Website), a church that meets weekly in the 1010 West space and rents it as an event space for public gatherings and weddings. Hoyer told us via telephone that, “I never felt the building was unsafe. I would never have had my church there if it was.” Hoyer and the church are leasing the space from Brad Cowherd, a local businessman whose name you may recall as the man who swept in to purchase and restore the historic Howey Mansion (Website).

The City told Hoyer and Cowherd that from a Life Saftey perspective, the number of people in the aging structure was worrisome, and coupled with the lack of records around the renovation work that had been carried out in the interior of the building, unacceptable. Any mechanical or aesthetic improvements performed on a building within city limits must have a city-issued permit and more specifically, in order to use a warehouse as a public events space it must go through a lengthy Change of Use process.

The City asked 1010 West to submit all of the events they had scheduled for the next few months and required them to hire Fire Department personnel to be on-hand for any public event in the space until they had proven they were compliant. The Fire Watch program places Fire personnel in buildings that are at risk of catching flame, and, according to Cowherd, carries a cost of $150 per visit.

The Fire Watch program was meant to be a short-term buffer to allow Cowherd to produce proof from a licensed engineer or architect that certified all work was done to code and was safe for public use, but lasted well into the New Year. The City issued a Cease and Desist to the 1010 West property in March when they learned that unsanctioned events were being hosted without Fire personnel in attendance and without informing the city that they were taking place.

An additional Cease and Desist order was issued on May 4 when events continued to occur in the building. A wedding was then hosted in 1010 West on May 13, and as a result, the City ordered Code Enforcement to disconnect power in the venue, in effect condemning the building so no further activities could take place within.

“We’ve been working diligently with an architect since this past Fall and hope to re-open soon.” – Brad cowherd

According to Cowherd, there were three major issues raised by the City:

  1. Questionable installation of a spray insulation on the ceiling of the venue.
  2. There were no fire sprinklers installed in the building.
  3. A firewall should be constructed between 1010 West and the neighboring Broken Cauldron Taproom and Brewery.

Cowherd told us that the issue with the insulation has been resolved, stating that a professional architect had visited the site and deemed it safe and that they were working with a company on installing the requested fire sprinkler system. However, the firewall seemed to be a contentious issue. As Cowherd tells it, City code doesn’t address round buildings (the structure is dome-shaped), and the permitting department was unsure as to how to enforce that last requirement and move forward.

“We’ve been trying to do everything they’ve asked but its just taking so long”
– Brad Cowherd

There is no expected re-opening date for 1010 West, but we’ve been assured by the City and all parties involved that they are working towards a safe resolution for everyone; which could take time. Meeting all of the above Life Saftey measures required by the City would allow 1010 West to reconnect their electric but they will still need to go through the zoning process to attain a Conditional Use Permit for the property.

31 COMMENTS

  1. Last i heard was 5/25. Was told they are working with the city who initially said spraying fire protection inside the building would be sufficient because the building was old enough to be grandfathered in to some code that didnt require it to have sprinklers. Seems the city came back and went back on their word now demanding fire sprinklers. When pressed the city said they would need the fire insulation that was sprayed to be tested. It came back good so IDK if they still need sprinklers. The code of use is something that was never mentioned to me. I feel crazy for continuing to pursue the venue, please post any updates you come across. I will attend the meeting.

    • We have a December wedding reception booked there and are growing more anxious with every day. Has anyone heard anything?

      • Yes actually. Direct from their Director of impressions, I was told they are still expecting to reopen in July. They have completed the majority of the items requested by the city and the items that have not yet been completed are because they are waiting for the city to approve the permit so they can do the work. Once approved by the city he said he has contractors on hand ready to go and it could all be done in a matter of 2 or 3 weeks. I’m staying optimistic.

        • Just saw another article about this today. We haven’t gotten any communication from 1010 west with an update; have you? We have a back up venue but we will have to cut the guest list substantially based on their capacity. We are staring to panic.

  2. I wrote a lengthy post but it never uploaded. I was able to speak to someone in the Economic Development Department at the City of Orlando and they told me there is a code enforcement board meeting at the City on Wednesday, June 13th at 8:30 a.m. The address is 400 S. Orange Avenue, 1st Floor, Orlando. It is a public meeting. I think as many of us who can attend need to do so.

    • This is the parcel number they are on (292227000000030). Anyone can check the status of the permits at permit lookup . city of orlando. net

  3. My daughters wedding is in 2 months and we just received an email from them on May 28th. We are freaking out. I was able to speak to someone in the economic development department at the City and they stated it is probable it could be done in time for her wedding if 1010 West cooperates and submits requested information in a timely manner but it is unlikely it will reopen in time. I was told to have a back up plan. There is a code enforcement board meeting being held on June 13 at 8:30 in the morning. I think the word needs to be spread and as many of us who can attend do so. It is a public meeting. The address is 400 S. Orange Avenue, 1st Floor, Orlando. My concern is getting a full refund ASAP so I can put a deposit on another venue should I be able to find one and at a reasonable price.

  4. Are they refunding the money at least? I can’t imagine the stress with having a wedding there a few weeks out. Mine is in November and I’m already stressing.

  5. It is alarming how many clients, who trusted 1010 West to safely host their weddings, with a significant financial commitment, are now hearing about this closure secondhand. Even those with events scheduled months from now should be receiving overwhelming apologies and assurances. Instead, they hear silence. Brad Cowherd should be aggressively working to restore client confidence. But it seems his priority is to protect his own interests, and leave victims to pursue action, if they have time, while scrambling to make new arrangements for what should’ve been the most special day of their lives.

    • In all fairness, Brad Cowherd is the property owner, not the business owner renting the space to special events.

    • John, I was forwarded this article from my a co-worker of my husband. My husband’s employer had their Christmas party there last year Dec 9). There is a raised area in the back left of the interior. Appears to be something that was original. They had the dessert table on that raised area. I slipped and fell off of the raised area and broke my elbow. There was not any railing or fenced area to indicate there was a change in the floor height.
      We couldn’t sue because the contract has an “Indemify” paragraph that means we could receive money, but they would go after my husbands employer to be reimbursed. My husband loves his job and who would have their employer get sued after you received money for negligence ( if we did). I would love to know if Code Enforecement and the Fire Department have addressed that area.
      There wasn’t anyone in charge to address my accident. The servers were the only people there and they had no idea who to contact.

  6. We were getting married there in 2 months and have heard nothing from 1010. Our contract was paid in full. To say this is ridiculous is a severe understatement. This is poor business and frankly horrible practice in customer service. What are we all supposed to do?? This is sickening. If not for my caterer, I would have had no idea about his closure. All the numbers I try to call are disconnected or turned off. This is awful.

      • They are, but finding a venue is the easy part. The extra cost and hassle becomes ours. It really is a nightmare. Yes, we’ve been contacted, however, they don’t know when it will reopen… so what do you do with two weeks until??

    • Vicki we should start a support group. I can’t imagine this work will be done in two weeks. I’m not convinced it’ll be properly zoned in time for my January 2019 wedding. What a NIGHTMARE.

        • It is. And now I can’t picture getting married anywhere else. So much of my wedding vendors/details have been decided based on the venue. I can’t imagine having to change course at all, let alone 2 weeks before my date! My fingers are crossed that everything works out and you are able to have your big day in the venue you wanted!!! Good luck!

          • Thank you! So far, we have had minimal help from 1010. They are just telling us of venues available. This is absurd and has been a headache to deal with!

    • Vicki,
      What is the scoop? My wedding is in October. They finally sent out an email. Talked to their planner ( who is awesome.not her fault) she sis sit could be opening up tomorrow? I’ve heard a few other things as well about the place but, my trust is the problem right now.

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