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City of Orlando Is Purchasing Pulse & Planning to Turn It Into a Memorial

City of Orlando Is Purchasing Pulse & Planning to Turn It Into a Memorial

Mourners at the Pulse nightclub memorial on the 5th anniversary of the shooting.
Chris Harris/Shutterstock

Since efforts to build a permanent memorial have stalled, the city of Orlando plans to purchase the property for $2 million.

More than seven years after the deadly massacre at the Pulse nightclub that killed 49 people, the city of Orlando, Fla. plans to purchase the site in order to build a permanent memorial to the victims.

Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a press release that a proposal to buy the property for $2 million will be presented to the city council next Monday, according to NBC News.

“In the interest of solving challenges in a way that brings our community together in love, acceptance and partnership, which is the enduring legacy of Pulse, we have decided to purchase the land from its current owners,” Dyer said in a statement on X (formerly Twitter). “We believe that this is the best and most appropriate way to expedite the creation of a proper memorial for the Pulse tragedy.”

The tragedy at the LGBTQ+ nightclub — which marked the deadliest mass shooting in the US at the time — shocked the nation in 2016, but since then efforts to erect a permanent memorial have been stalled.

The nonprofit onePulse, which has led the charge to create the memorial, has been unable to make any forward momentum over the course of the last seven years and announced earlier this year that it was forced to scale back its plans for a $100 million memorial project due to fundraising issues. Executive director Barbara Poma, who owns the property with Rosario Poma and Michael Panaggio, stepped down from her position last year and left the nonprofit entirely earlier this year, according to NBC News.

“Unfortunately it’s been seven years and we’ve not been able to move forward on beginning the construction of a memorial on that site, which I think most people agree is the most appropriate place for it to be,” Dyer told USA Today. “We think we were probably the only ones that could step in and at least calm the situation down and make sure that everybody understands that we will in fact build a memorial on that site.”

The permanent memorial will be built at the site of the Pulse nightclub, where Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 others on June 12, 2016 when he walked into the gay nightclub and opened fire.

The $2 million land purchase proposal will be brought in front of the Orlando city council on Monday, October 23.

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