Threat of disputed sinkhole closes Palace Grand in Spring Hill

Published May 3 2017
Updated May 4 2017

SPRING HILL — The Palace Grand, a local venue for corporate and social events, as well as one-night shows, has been temporarily shut down. And that has led to some frantic coordinating on the part of the owners, who have to find new venues for some events because the property has been deemed unsafe.

That's according to a bright-red notice posted on the front entrance, alongside an accompanying note from the Marasciullo family — the venue owners — notifying visitors that the Palace Grand, off U.S. 19 at 275 Della Court, will be temporarily closed for public safety reasons due to a disputed sinkhole claim. Also posted is a sinkhole report composed by Structural Engineering and Inspections Inc. that is included in the body of a letter addressed to attorney Larry Bache of Tampa.

The letter, dated April 6, states that according to a report dated Feb. 10, 2017, "Time is of the essence" and that "SEI has determined that a dangerous condition exists at the property as defined in the Florida Building Code-Existing Building 5th Edition (2014). Specifically, the structure lacks the necessary support of the ground and is significantly likely to imminently collapse because of movement or instability of the ground."

On April 25, business manager Jennifer Marasciullo sent out a news release indicating that the Palace Grand would close temporarily and that it would be "business as usual once the property is safely and properly repaired." Citing legal reasons, she declined to address the sinkhole claim and dispute for this story, but did provide written emails to the Times concerning the relocation of shows and events that had been booked at the Palace Grand.

Some corporate events, as well as the one-night show "Men of Rock Hard Male Revue," scheduled for May 12, will now be held at the owners' sister venue, the Show Palace Dinner Theatre at 16128 U.S. 19 in Hudson. Ticket holders were being notified, according to Marasciullo, adding that the owners are also reaching out to local businesses and venues and working with families in an effort to relocate other social gatherings that have been booked at the Palace Grand.

"In the event that the Show Palace is unavailable or an unacceptable replacement, we are working with other trusted venues in the area to immediately relocate events," Marasciullo wrote. "We are doing everything in our power and calling on all of our incredible businesses in the area to make this transition as stress free and seamless as possible for our clients. Our top priority is our clients' satisfaction."

Contact Michele Miller at Follow @MicheleMiller52.