A proposed memorial for the victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre will not be on the grounds of the former club.
The OnePulse Foundation released a statement on Tuesday confirming that negotiations had broken down between the Foundation and the Orange Avenue property owners over housing the memorial there.
The statement read in part:
The onePULSE Foundation is disappointed to report that after months of negotiation an agreement could not be reached with Barbara Poma (the Founder of onePULSE Foundation), her husband, Rosario Poma, and their business partner, Michael Panaggio, for the full donation of the Pulse nightclub property. The Foundation had previously planned to build a permanent national memorial at the site to commemorate the 49 lives taken, survivors, first responders, and all those impacted by the June 12, 2016, tragedy.
Poma left the Foundation back in April, which has been planning and fundraising for years with the intent of building a memorial site to the 49 lives lost at the LGBTQ+ nightclub during a mass shooting on June 12, 2016,
According to reporting from WESH, Poma had floated an asking price of $2.25 million for the property to the Foundation. The Foundation, on the other hand, pushed for a donation of the property. Interestingly, back in late 2016 negotiations were in advanced stages for the City of Orlando to buy the Pulse property for $2.25 million, though that fell through when the Pomas and co. decided to hold on to it.
OnePulse also promised an update in mid-May regarding a new location.
Reactions were a mix of hurt and outrage from local community leaders.
“This is totally unacceptable. The site of Pulse nightclub is sacred ground. It serves NO other purpose than for families, survivors, our community, and future generations to find peace and reflection,” activist and former State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith wrote via Twitter.
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