Following the June 12 shooting that left 49 people dead (and many more injured) at Pulse, a landmark gay club in Orlando, Florida, the city has reached a deal to purchase the space for $2.25 million and turn it into a memorial.
While the city is soliciting ideas for what the memorial will look and be like, Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer tells the Orlando Sentinel that they plan to leave the original Pulse structure standing for 12 to 18 more months so that mourners will have enough time to visit and pay homage to the victims.
As for the memorial itself, the city, according to Dyer, wants to “create something to honor the memory of the victims that are deceased [and] those that were injured, and a testament to the resilience of our community.”
Jeff Weiner of the Orlando Sentinel reports:
The price negotiated by city staff is more than the $1.65 million appraised value of the nightclub, a 4,500-square-foot building occupying a third of an acre at South Orange Avenue and West Esther Street.
Dyer said the sale price was a compromise reached during negotiations with the club’s owners, whose attorney did not return a call seeking comment Monday.
The sales contract with the city was signed Friday by Rosario Poma, who owns the club with his wife, Barbara. Orlando’s City Council, which has the final say on the deal, will weigh in on it next week.
The nightclub was first opened in 2004 by Barbara Poma, who named it Pulse “in honor of her brother John, who died of AIDS in 1991.” The massacre, which took place during Pride 2016, is marked as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.