TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Orlando city leaders have approved a plan to buy the Pulse Nightclub property for $2 million. Orlando’s mayor said the purchase will ensure that a permanent memorial is built at the site of the 2016 mass shooting.
The temporary memorial at the Pulse Nightclub site will now be replaced by a permanent one.
“People were taken from this community, mostly LGBTQ and Latino people from our community,” said Carlos Guillermo Smith, Former state representative of East Orlando.
Orlando City Commissioners voted to approve the $2 million purchase of the site from the owners. Guillermo Smith, said it’s been a long time coming.
“Having that sacred ground be a space of quiet reflection of remembrance for those 49 Angels that were taken is something that is a top priority for those families and for those survivors as well as an entire community that’s been impacted by this tragedy,” said Guillermo Smith.
Guillermo Smith said public ownership guarantees control over the site. He says without the city’s purchase, he feared it would be paved over disrespecting the 49 whose lives were lost here on June 12, 2016.
“Best way to ensure that the voices of the families and the survivors are taken into account that there is a process for building the memorial that is transparent and accountable to these families and survivors, and the city of Orlando is best equipped to do that, not private owners,” said Guillermo Smith.
The mayor of Orlando said the deal will be finalized on Friday. The timeline of construction is still up in the air.
“My capacity as a lawmaker when I represented Orlando in the Florida House, we secured state funds for the purpose of constructing a memorial on this site at Pulse Nightclub, not anywhere else,” he said.