The onePulse Foundation has just announced that it will be scaling down its plans for a museum and memorial, following the recent news that it was unable to negotiate the purchase of the former Pulse Nightclub property from its current owners.
Last month the foundation’s director, Deborah Bowie, shared that negotiations with the owners of the property, Michael Panaggio, and Rosario and Barbara Poma, had failed and that they would be looking to build their long-awaited memorial somewhere offsite.
Bowie has now made it public that the foundation is looking to shrink the ambitious scope of its previous calls for a massive museum and memorial project, which were thought to have an estimated price tag of $100 million.
The Foundation will now be focusing on converting a 47,000 SF warehouse it purchased for $3.5 million in September 2019 at 438 W. Kaley Street [GMap], into a new museum use. According to a report by Orlando Sentinel‘s Amanda Rabines, the foundation is considering applying for $10 million in Tourist Development Tax funding to convert the warehouse, which is expected to cost $15 million. The group received $10 million from the same fund back in 2018 which it used to purchase the property, along with some celebrity star power to help raise additional dollars.
The foundation is currently considering where to build its memorial now that the privately-owned nightclub property is no longer on the table, and that includes potentially building something on a lot nearby. But that’s something that the board, made of 15 people now instead of 22, will be deciding in the year(s) to come.
The current memorial on the Pulse property, located at 1912 S. Orange Avenue [GMap], opened in 2018 and was designed to be temporary. The City of Orlando had originally given the interim memorial park a two-year window of grace with an option for a one-year extension, as it was all meant to be replaced by something more permanent. The Mayor’s office confirmed with Bungalower that the original Temporary Use Permit for the memorial has indeed expired, but that city staff would consider another request for an extension, to keep it in place a while longer. Though nothing has been filed at this time.
The U.S. Senate passed a bill in 2021 designating the site as a national memorial. While the designation did not allocate any federal funds to the site, it does complicate any plans to potentially develop the site for uses other than a memorial park.
Plans for the property are not public at this time.