Orlando will be honoring the victims of the horrific Pulse nightclub shooting by turning the site into a memorial.
The club's owner, Rosario Poma, signed the contract on Friday agreeing to sell the nightclub to the Florida city, the Orlando Sentinel reports. The Orlando City Council still needs to approve the deal, but it's expected to by next week. And if it goes through, it will be sold for $2.25 million—about $600,000 more than what the property has been valued at.
Orlando's ultimate goal, Mayor Buddy Dyer told the Sentinel, 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 the community." The June 12 shooting targeting the nightclub, a fixture in the area's LGBTQ community, resulted in 49 deaths and dozens more injuries, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the history of the United States.
The city is not in any rush to make changes. As it stands, the Pulse nightclub is already a memorial of sorts: People travel there from around the country, and even around the world, to pay their respects. Mourners have left behind letters, flowers, and other tributes.
Dyer told the Sentinel, "There are lots of people that are making a visit to the site part of their trip, [a] part of their experience of Orlando, so I think 12 to 18 months of leaving it as-is would be appropriate." The city will use that time to collect ideas for the memorial from the community and from similar memorial sites around the country.