ORLANDO, Fla. – In a significant development, the Pulse Nightclub property, which was the site of one of the nation’s most devastating mass shootings, is set to be sold to the city of Orlando, according to confirmed reports from News 6.
Seven years ago, a gunman perpetrated a heinous act of violence at the Pulse nightclub, resulting in the loss of 49 innocent lives and leaving dozens more injured. The magnitude of this tragedy still reverberates within the community.
Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan revealed to News 6 that the agreement to acquire the property from owner Barbara Poma will be presented to the city council for approval on Monday. The purchase price has not been disclosed, but Sheehan did disclose that it is lower than the city’s previous offer of $2.3 million to Poma.
Notably, there is no opposition from within the city commissioners regarding the acquisition. If the proposal is approved, the real estate transaction is slated to conclude on October 27, the following Friday.
This announcement comes after a tumultuous series of events during the summer that impeded the progress of constructing a memorial dedicated to the victims of the June 12, 2016, tragedy.
The onePulse Foundation, which initially spearheaded the memorial and museum initiatives shortly after the shooting, announced its separation from Poma, the organization’s founder, in April. Subsequently, in May, the foundation declared its intention to build a permanent memorial on an alternate site due to Poma’s investment partner refusing to donate the land where the nightclub stands.
Further complications ensued in July when the foundation terminated its lease of the nightclub property with Poma after the discovery that a temporary use permit had expired. Nevertheless, the foundation committed to covering expenses such as utilities and security until August 31, incurring monthly costs ranging from $9,000 to $10,000.
Since September 1, Poma has personally undertaken these expenses. This recent turn of events has led to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer issuing a statement in response.
Dyer acknowledged the challenges faced in establishing a memorial for the victims of the Pulse tragedy. After engaging with family members of victims and survivors, he became acutely aware of their strong desire for a lasting memorial at the Pulse site. The mayor emphasized the need for a permanent tribute to honor the 49 angels who lost their lives.
In an effort to unite the community with love, acceptance, and partnership, which are the enduring legacies of Pulse, the city has chosen to purchase the land from its current owners. Dyer believes this is the most appropriate course of action to expedite the creation of a fitting memorial.
While the city has been absent from the previous stages of this process, their plan involves acquiring the land before determining the subsequent steps. The mayor expressed a commitment to adopting a thoughtful and collaborative approach to comprehend the history of the memorial efforts thus far. Moreover, he intends to work closely with the victims’ families and survivors to ensure a memorial at the Pulse site that truly honors the victims and acknowledges the resilience of the Orlando community.
On October 23, 2023, the proposed land purchase will undergo review and require approval from the City Council. This is a developing story, and News 6 will continue to provide the latest updates.
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