Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
The owner of Pulse has decided not to sell the gay nightclub to the City of Orlando for $2.25 million
In a statement from her lawyer, Barbara Poma says she just can't walk away from the space where 49 people were killed this past summer in a mass shooting. Poma says:
"I have decided not to sell the Pulse property. Pulse means so very much to my family and to our community, and I can't just walk away. I feel a personal obligation to ensure that a permanent space at Pulse be created so that all generations to come will remember those affected by, and taken on, June 12th.
I intend to create a space for everyone, a sanctuary of hope, and a welcoming area to remember all those affected by the tragedy. I plan to do that directly with the involvement of the communities impacted by this tragedy, the families of the victims and any private or public sector individuals or organizations who wish to assist. We must do this together as a community.
I hope the love and support we have seen through this time from around the world and here at home will continue as we join together to build a place to memorialize our Angels."
Earlier in November, the city announced staff had worked out an agreement with the owners of Pulse to purchase the site on Orange Avenue for $2.25 million, with the plan to eventually create a memorial to the victims and survivors of the shooting.
But at the Orlando City Council meeting on Nov. 14, Mayor Buddy Dyer delayed a vote from Orlando commissioners on the purchase because of resistance from some on the council regarding the price. City records show the 4,500-square-foot building on a third-of-an-acre parcel had been independently appraised by the city before the tragedy and valued at $1.68 million.
In a statement, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer says he understands the decision by the club's owners not to sell Pulse was "incredibly difficult." Dyer continues, saying:
"We respect their decision and are hopeful the Pulse site will continue to be a place of hope and healing that honors the victims.
We believe it is important for the community to have input into a memorial that honors the victims and pays tribute to the resiliency of Orlando. City staff will continue to research and understand how other communities have approached the memorial process.
As we better understand that process, and after engaging with our Commissioners and community partners, we’ll update the community on the next steps."
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