Pulse survivors question city’s decision to buy nightclub property

ORLANDO, Fla. — While much of the Orlando area celebrated Wednesday’s announcement that the city had agreed to purchase the Pulse nightclub property to expedite a memorial, reaction among some survivor and family groups was notably more muted.

“It’s not easy, it does not get better,” Marissa Delgado said. “We just have to push through, and I hope the right decision is made.”

Delgado was one of several survivors who reached out to WFTV questioning the decision. She and others spoke of anger: that the city would pay the owners for the site after they sat on the land for seven years, that accountability was never truly reached, and that more fighting between the city, the survivors and the onePulse organization – which some survivors don’t trust – was almost guaranteed.


Notably, onePulse appeared to be shut out of the discussions between the city and the property owners, calling its future role in any memorial into question. The nonprofit struggled to organize itself for years as its leaders, including one of the nightclub owners, drew six-figure salaries, angering the community.

“Sell it at the first time when they say they’re going to sell it to the city of Orlando,” survivor Joshua Hernandez said. “Why you have to wait seven years?”

Multiple survivors called on the city to investigate whether the club’s design violated code, trapping the victims and survivors for three hours as shots rang out, and said it was necessary to help them heal.

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Survivors and family members of the victims are also divided about what a permanent memorial should look like. Some want the building to be part of the memorial or a museum. Many don’t.

“If you want, build something else, but don’t leave that up there,” Delgado said, calling it painful to look at.

Read: City of Orlando to buy Pulse nightclub site for future memorial

Hernandez said whatever does get built should be free to visit.

“I really hope that they do something that’s beautiful,” Michelle Adorno, who lost several friends in the attack, said as she wandered the site Wednesday. “Can really have a place to sign and like, kind of come in and mourn and have it be more a part of the community.”

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