Photo: The makeshift memorial outside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. (Photo via @TheAtlNews)
On Monday, city officials in Orlando announced they had reached a deal to purchase the Pulse nightclub for $2.25 million with the long-term goal of turning the site into a memorial.
According to The Associated Press, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said that the city eventually plans on converting the site of the deadliest mass shooting in United States history into a memorial, but will leave it as it stands for the next 12-to-18 months while plans are finalized and mourners continue paying their respects.
Orlando officials are looking to the local community and national organizations for ideas on how to make the memorial something locals and visitors can embrace, including the possibility of leaving part of the club, and the now iconic roadside sign, intact as part of the site.
“We're still gathering information,” Mayor Dyer told the Orlando Sentinel. “We're looking around the country for some people that have done something like this before. There are some folks with expertise related to this.”
Mayor Dyer said the city’s ultimate goal is to “create something to honor the memory of the victims that are deceased [and] those that were injured, and a testament to the resilience of our community.
Orlando's City Council will vote to approve the land purchase on Nov. 14.
Since the June 12 massacre at the Pulse nightclub which claimed the lives of 49 people and left more than 50 injured, locals and visitors have flooded to the property to pay their respects to the victims of the attack.
The rush of mourners from all over the world has resulted in reports from nearby businesses and residents about disruptions to both vehicle and foot traffic in the area, which has caused safety concerns for the city.
The long-term goal of Orlando officials purchasing the Pulse nightclub and the surrounding property would be to allow the city to build a memorial for the victims while also alleviating any security and safety concerns.
“We are very glad that they did this, and turned it into a place where people can pay their respects,” GLBT Center of Orlando executive director Terry DeCarlo told ABCNews.com. “It's become a sacred site.”