The City of Orlando announced plans to buy Pulse, the nightclub where 49 people were killed in a mass shooting, pending final approval from city council on Monday.
At least 53 others were injured on June 12, 2016, when a 29-year-old shooter opened fire at the popular gay nightclub in central Florida on Latin night. The shooter was shot and killed by police at the scene.
The site of the deadly shooting was referred to as “a permanent part of Orlando’s history” in an agenda item to be discussed at Monday’s city council meeting.
“The City is interested in acquiring this property as part of the process of developing a permanent memorial that honors the victims,” the agenda item states.
The city is buying the 4,500-square-foot commercial building where Pulse was located for $2 million.
The OnePulse Foundation’s executive director, Deborah Bowie, said in a statement to CNN, “We are thankful to the City of Orlando for ensuring that the National Pulse Memorial will be located at the Pulse nightclub site, which was always the hope of families of the 49 victims and the Pulse-impacted community. We look forward to being a part of the discussion with the City of Orlando as this moves forward.”
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said he hopes the sale and memorial will bring comfort to survivors and their families.
“When the site becomes a permanent memorial, it will be a place for reflection and love,” Demings said. “It will be through moving forward that we continue to honor the legacy of those we lost.”
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a statement to CNN creating a memorial for Pulse victims “has been a challenging endeavor, with the current plan for the memorial to be built somewhere besides the actual Pulse site.”
City leaders recently spoke with victims’ family members, who Dyer said expressed “a strong desire” for a memorial to be located at the club’s former site, according to the statement.
“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.
“We believe that this is the best and most appropriate way to expedite the creation of a proper memorial for the Pulse tragedy,” he said.
The closing date is set for October 27 pending city council’s approval, according to the City of Orlando.