City of Orlando to buy Pulse nightclub, turn it into memorial

Mayor Buddy Dyer says city purchasing club for $2.25M

ORLANDO, Fla. – The city of Orlando has announced plans to purchase the Pulse nightclub and eventually convert the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history into a memorial.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer tweeted Tuesday that it's important for the city to take control of the site.

"We want to get a lot of community input. We do know that we want to maintain it as is for a period of time, 12 to 18 months, so people from around the country and world who want to visit the site can do so," Dyer said.

The Orlando City Council will vote Nov. 14 to purchase the nightclub, the city said.

The city will buy the former gay club for $2.25 million, about $600,000 more than its appraised value. If approved, the city says staff will complete a "due diligence period, which includes review of the land survey, title, and environmental of the site" and will likely take over the facility by Dec. 30.

Pulse owner Barbara Poma stopped by the site Tuesday. She told News 6 she is glad the city is purchasing the club with plans to build a permanent memorial.

"It's what I've always wanted," Poma said. "We want to move forward, helping create a memorial with the city, and to find a new location to rebuild Pulse and reopen."

Dyer says the city is still trying to figure out what type of memorial to build.

"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," Dyer said.

The site continues to draw people from near and far almost five months after the tragedy. Many support the city's plans to honor what they call sacred ground, forever remembering those killed and remaining Orlando strong.

"They don't need to reopen this at all. They need to do something for all the families that lost their loved ones here," Pulse memorial visitor Vivian Vargas said.

The June 12 attack left 49 people dead and 53 wounded. SWAT team members killed the gunman, Omar Mateen.

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