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Children’s choir being evicted a month before their Christmas performance

Posted at 4:54 PM, Nov 15, 2019

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.-- The Palm Beach Children’s Chorus has operated out of the same facility the past two years. New ownership took over in early 2019 and now, a month before the nonprofit’s largest performance of the year, they are being evicted from the space.

“It’s devastating and traumatizing and this is not just going to impact the kids but the community as well,” said founder Sandi Russell.

They are located in what was once a cinema inside the former Loehmann's Shopping Plaza off PGA Blvd.

“It has helped her develop her talent, her self esteem,” said parent Evelyn Gonzalez.

In September, the organization renewed its lease for one more year. However, not long after the place flooded, Palm Beach Gardens Code Enforcement told the property owner, Drury Development Corp. based in St. Louis, Missouri, it had until November 18 to become code compliant.

According to attorney Philip T. Crenshaw, who is representing the nonprofit, they received a notice of termination five weeks after the flooding. “The timing of when we are being told to vacate kind of coincides with the time they’ve been told they need to make those corrections,” said Russell.

Crenshaw has now filed a lawsuit against Drury Development who legally has until November 28 to respond.

“We seriously believe what they want to do is kick us out so they can let the building become run down and then hopefully demolish it,” said Russell.

NewsChannel 5 has repeatedly reached out to Drury Development Corp. for comment. They have yet to respond.

“Let’s hope that they can keep the program here because this is like a home,” said parent Yanina Imeoco.

For now, the group plans to continue using the facility, but they fear time is running out.