Memorial may subject business owners to eminent domain
On June 12, 2016, 49 men and women were killed at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando by a gunman. The event rocked the state of Florida and shocked Americans throughout the country. Individuals connected to the heinous crime have fought to keep the memory of the victims alive and in the wake of the unspeakable tragedy formed the onePulse Foundation.
That foundation now seeks to build a memorial to permanently commemorate the catastrophe of June 16, 2016, and believes that it will need to purchase nine properties that are near the former nightclub and site of the mass shooting. The foundation wishes to open a museum and parking lot on the space in addition to the memorial and believes that the revenue generated by the center will create financial opportunities for the entire community.
However, business owners in the vicinity of the former Pulse Nightclub are wary of the foundation’s plans. Some have stated that they have no interest in selling their properties and others have stated that they have not been contacted about the proposed project. While onePulse is not a governmental entity and therefore cannot impose eminent domain upon property owners on its own, it may find support in the local government to undertake its intended project.
The tragedy of the Pulse Nightclub shooting is an event no Floridian will soon forget. It is etched into the collective memory of Orlando and will forever stand as a crime of unparalleled hatred and cruelty. It now may have repercussions for property owners within that community, though, and as the onePulse Foundation fights on to pursue its project readers will have to stay informed about how their land rights may be affected.