onePulse in default for unauthorized use of museum property, Orange County says

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Orange County hit the onePulse Foundation with a default notice Monday claiming it breached its Tourist Development Tax agreement.

Throughout most of its seven-year history, the nonprofit organization promised to build a permanent memorial and museum in honor of the lives impacted by the 2016 Pulse massacre.

Those plans never progressed past a conceptual phase. Last month, the organization conceded it will not be taking helm of the projects.

As part of its withdrawal, onePulse met with Orange County officials to surrender title to the foundation’s 1.7-acre property on 438 Kaley Street. It bought the parcel, which contains a 47,000-square-foot warehouse, in September 2019 for $3.5 million with TDT revenue.

According to the letter declaring the default and signed by Orange County Administrator Byron Brooks, the organization did not “diligently proceed with the design, construction and operation of the museum in a financially responsible and commercially reasonable manner.”

The letter also states onePulse rented out the warehouse without the county’s written consent. onePulse entered into three additional license agreements with the entertainment agency The Nassal Company without prior approval from the county, the letter read.

Unauthorized licenses were recorded last August and this year over the summer for flex space, storage and use of loading docks.

Orlando Sentinel’s television partner Spectrum News 13 first reported the news.

After learning of the breach, Orange County said it “deems it prudent” to perform due diligence prior to accepting the deed to the property.

Representatives with The Nassal Company declined to comment on the issue.

Yolanda Londoño, onePULSE Foundation board spokesperson, said the latest development is part of the process to close its agreement with Orange County.

“We maintain active communication with county staff and will continue to ensure everything is done correctly and in accordance with our agreement,” Londoño said.

It’s unclear if the nonprofit will be penalized and if so, how. County commissioners are scheduled to discuss onePulse and related issues at the board’s meeting next Tuesday.

This is a developing story.