Metro Weekly

Pulse nightclub owner no longer wants to sell property to city of Orlando

Her reversal of her earlier position throws wrench into plans for a permanent memorial to shooting victims

Pulse Orlando memoria - Photo: Facebook.

Pulse Orlando memoria – Photo: Facebook.

The owner of Orlando’s Pulse nightclub may be putting the brakes on a planned memorial dedicated to the victims of the June 12 shooting that would be maintained by the city of Orlando. 

Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse who dedicated the club in memory of her brother, who died of AIDS in 1991, said in a statement on Monday that she “can’t just walk away” from the club, reports FOX News

“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,” the statement read.

Poma also said she intends to create “a space for everyone, sanctuary of hope, and a welcoming area to remember all those affected by the tragedy.”

Last month, the city of Orlando announced plans to purchase the property from Poma and her husband, Rosario. In exchange for $2.25 million — far more than the property’s appraised value of $1.65 million — the Pomas would sell the club the surrounding parcel of land to the city. The city would then secure the site and convert it in order to house a permanent memorial.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer previously told the Orlando Sentinel that the club site would be left as-is for about a year to a year-and-a-half, while the city looks at best practices from other cities that have erected memorials. He also said the city would seek input from the larger community on the memorial’s final design. With Poma’s backing away from the deal, those plans are now in limbo.

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com