The city of Orlando has announced plans to buy Pulse Nightclub, with the aim to memorialise the site, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Pulse became the site of the most lethal mass shooting in U.S. history after Omar Mateen opened fire at the popular gay club, killing 49, in June this year.
In July, documents were filed with the state of Florida to build a “permanent memorial” for the victims of the massacre that took place at the club in June. However these were filed by OnePulse Foundation, a not-for-profit created to raise funds for survivors and the families of victims, suggesting that the city of Orlando had taken over plans that were already in motion.
The club, which has remained empty since the attack on June 12, has been bought for $2.25 million, $600,000 more than its appraised value.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer told the Sentinel that the club will stay as is for at at least one year: "There are lots of people that are making a visit to the site part of their trip, part of their experience of Orlando, so I think 12 to 18 months of leaving it as-is would be appropriate," he said.
During that time, the city will consult with locals over how the site should be memorialised. Leaving part of the original club intact has not been ruled out.
Ultimately, the city wants 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," Dyer said.