Orlando to Vote on Buying Pulse Nightclub for $2.25M, Plans to Turn Club Into Memorial
The city of Orlando has negotiated a deal to buy Pulse nightclub so that it can be turned into a memorial for the 49 people killed in a June massacre, a city spokeswoman said Tuesday.
The City Council will vote Monday on whether to approve the $2.25 million purchase of the Florida nightclub, according to a statement.
If the purchase is approved, the city will review the land survey, title and environmental audit during the due diligence period before closing by December 30, the statement said.
“This location is now a permanent part of Orlando’s history. It’s the site of the most tragic event that has ever occurred in the City of Orlando,” Mayor Buddy Dyer said in the statement.
“We want our entire community to be a part of this site. With the City owning the property, we can engage in a public process to determine the future of the Pulse property and building.”
A 29-year-old gunman claiming allegiance to ISIS told a police negotiator during the attack that he was incensed with the U.S. bombings of Syria and Iraq, according to police transcripts of the conversation.
After a three-hour standoff, police stormed the nightclub and killed the gunman, but not before he perpetrated the nation’s worst mass shooting, murdering more than four dozen people and wounded 53 others.
Dyer and the club’s owner, Barbara Poma, had preliminary discussions about the possibility of the city buying the site over the summer, a representative for Poma told CNN in August.
CNN is reaching out to Poma for response to Tuesday’s news of a potential sale.
“We need to determine some period of time that we leave it exactly as is with some adequate fencing because there will be people … that want to travel here to see it as it exists without making modifications,” Dyer told WMFE radio during an August interview.
Dyer imagined that period of time would be about a year and then the city would “transition to a permanent memorial,” he said.
The nightclub was returned to Poma after police conducted a weekslong investigation. Poma initially said she thought she would fix the damage to Pulse and reopen it at some point. Later, she said she was contemplating the future of the club, which she called “a sacred place.”
Visitors have adorned a chain-link fence surrounding Pulse with flags, flowers, mementos and messages.
The city has said it plans to erect a paver garden as a permanent memorial. The names of the victims will be on stones around Lake Beauty Park outside Orlando Regional Medical Center, where many of the wounded were treated.
The site was also home to 49 wooden crosses, made by an Illinois carpenter, that were displayed outside the hospital. They are now in climate-controlled storage.
The Orange County Regional History Center plans to use them and items from other temporary memorials as part of a permanent memorial, once a site has been determined.