UPDATE: The City of Orlando responded with a quote stating that they are currently not in any discussions to purchase the property. See below for the full statement.
The OnePulse Foundation took to social media this week to share that after months of negotiating with Pulse Nightclub owner Barbara Poma et al, they were unable to settle on terms for the property.
As seen in the Instagram post embedded above, the foundation has stated that it will be pursuing an offsite location for its National Pulse Memorial while also continuing to move forward with its Orlando Health Survivors Walk and Pulse Museum.
Barbara Poma, the co-owner of Pulse Nightclub and figurehead of the foundation since its launch in 2016, stepped down from the foundation in April, in a move that was seen as a way to push negotiations forward in order to sell the property to the foundation without a clear conflict of interest.
According to a report by Michelle Imperato for WESH 2, Poma and her husband along with their business partner Michael Panaggio, were looking to sell the property for $2.5 million, but they refused to share a statement about the foundation’s new plans to build the memorial somewhere else now that negotiations had faltered.
Though despite the asking price, the quote provided by onePulse above states they had asked the Pomas for the “full donation of the Pulse Nightclub property, and an agreement could not be reached.”
The City of Orlando tried to purchase the property immediately following the shootings seven years ago for over $2 million before the Pomas decided to keep the property at the last minute. It’s unlikely they will make the same offer again, but we’ve reached out to see if it’s on the table.
We had not heard back from City Hall at the time of this post but we will update this story once we do.
The City of Orlando responded with the following statement:
“There was an offer from the City in 2016 to purchase the property and engage with the community in an effort to determine the future of the site. As you may recall, the Poma’s declined to move forward with the sale of the site to the City. The city is not currently in any discussions to purchase the property.
Since that time, the OnePulse Foundation was formed and they led the community effort in visioning for the future of that site.
The City of Orlando continues to stand with the OnePulse Foundation in their efforts to honor the victims, survivors and all those impacted by the Pulse tragedy. We will continue to support the dedicated work of the Foundation to honor and preserve the legacy of those taken and their efforts to create a sanctuary of hope here in our community.”– ASHLEY PAPAGNI, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, OFFICE OF THE MAYOR