Owner of Pulse will not sell club to city of Orlando
Barbara Poma plans to create 'sanctuary of hope' at site
ORLANDO, Fla. – The owner of Pulse, where 49 people were slain nearly six months ago, will not sell the gay nightclub to the city of Orlando, according to a report from WKMG.
Club owner Barbara Poma said in a statement that she "can't walk away" from the club and plans to create a "sanctuary of hope" at the site to remember the victims of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
In addition to the 49 who were slain, 53 others were injured in the shooting. The shooter, Omar Mateen, was shot and killed by police.
The city of Orlando had agreed to buy the property for $2.25 million, and a final vote on the purchase by the city council was scheduled for Monday.
“I have decided not to sell the Pulse property," Poma said in a statement. "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 12.
“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."
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on Monday posted a comment to Twitter about the future of Pulse.
"We've been informed by the Pulse owners that they don't plan to sell the location," the tweet read. "We're hopeful the site remains a place of hope, healing."
The mayor's office also released a more detailed statement:
"We understand that this was an incredibly difficult decision for the owners. We respect their decision and are hopeful the Pulse site continues 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. 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 will update the community on the next steps."
Copyright 2016 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.