UPDATE @ 4:38 P.M.
Jason Eckert, a city of Dayton fire prevention specialist, said it was unfortunate that space couldn’t be used, but it did not fulfill some building codes. He said his team met with a building representative back in October about the issues.
“Any major tragic events we’ve seen in history revolve around assemblies — some of them in older building with limited exits, and that’s what we saw here,” Eckert said. “We had a space that would hold somewhere in between 500 and 1,000 people and it had one exit that was in good working order and no fire alarm.”
Eckert also said the building owners knew about these issues, and it was clear they wouldn’t be able to use the building until proper permits were pulled. As of Wednesday, no proper permits had been pulled, he said.
Billy Bender, building manager, said the team has been meeting with inspectors and the city for the last six months in hopes of getting the building up to code. After enlisting the help from an architect, they received word on Monday that the changes to the space would have to be extensive. It would cost more than $1 million on the venue space alone to get it ready for use — which won’t happen for years, if at all.
“We’re just not going to be able to make it in the time frame to happen,” he said. “We had a plan but it just didn’t pan out that way.”
Bender said the development group had been upfront with any interested clients that the building was still under construction in some ways, and said Something Old Dayton did not find out about the change in plans until this week. They, then, promptly told customers who had planned weddings and other events there in the coming months.
“We would like to apologize first and foremost,” he said. “But again, as we talked to the architects on Monday, it’s just not going to happen in the timeframe.”
A new event center in Dayton has cancelled weddings booked for the space this year due to issues with building renovations.
The Davis-Linden building, located at 400 Linden Ave. in east Dayton and built in the 1890s, has been under renovation by the Dieringer Development Group. The intent was to use the building as event space, and several clients have already rented out the space for weddings.
Those customers who already booked the space received an email this week from Something Old Dayton, a vintage rentals and studio, that said the building would no longer be available for events.
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“Dieringer Development Group has run into some issues with the city in getting the event space cleared for events, and they’ve just informed us it is unlikely that they will be able to make the changes necessary in time for any of the events booked this year,” the company stated in the email. “The city of Dayton has chosen to impose some severely restrictive requirements making it extremely difficult for DDG to get the necessary approvals.”
The email also stated 2017 weddings would likely no longer be able to take place in the space, and the development group would give clients a 100 percent refund on their deposits.
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“We are truly, truly deeply sorry for the tremendous inconvenience and stress this causes you all in your wedding planning processes. Something Old Dayton has no control over the practices of the Davis Linden building and we are sincerely disappointed that this has come to pass,” the email read.
This news organization reached out to the Dieringer Development Group marketing director who said the company cannot comment on the issue currently. This newspaper has also reached out to Something Old Dayton and the city of Dayton.
Contact reporter Kara Driscoll if your event was canceled at the venue at 937-225-0551.
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