Dubai: Billionaire developer Hussain Sajwani is set to purchase the site of a South Florida condominium that collapsed last June for $120 million after no other bids were submitted by the Friday evening deadline for next week’s auction.
Sajwani will be using the location for the Cavalli-branded residences, as Damac continues to make headway into gateway cities. It’s already there in London with a super-luxury project. The Cavalli brand is now owned by Hussain Sajwani.
In a statement, the Damac chief said: “Damac Properties has long been eyeing development opportunities in Miami. We see the city, which is known for being a luxury and fashion centre, as a natural fit for our company, which has an established reputation for its branded luxury offerings.”
The location, Surfside, has become a hotspot for ultra-luxury condominium developments, including the Four Seasons Private Residences, the Fendi Chateau Residences, and the Arte Surfside buildings. The town also has a collection of high-end hotels, including the Four Seasons, the St. Regis Bal Harbour, and the Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour and its primary shopping area, the Bal Harbour Shops, is known throughout Miami as a luxury shopping destination.
“Our global expansion into the US marks a major milestone and demonstrates that DAMAC is a force to be reckoned with. This is an exciting time, and we have a lot in store,” Sajwani said. "We are rapidly growing, not only in our real estate endeavours but in various sectors such as fashion, hospitality and even emerging industries such as the Metaverse, NFTs and data centres. This enables us to stay ahead of the curve.”
Michael Fay, of Avison Young, said hundreds of potential buyers had shown interest in the property, but none were ultimately prepared to match the initial bid of Sajwani. Avison Young is the commercial real estate firm that was appointed to market the land as part of a class-action lawsuit.
The auction for the 1.8-acre (0.72-hectare) parcel in Surfside was scheduled for Tuesday. Earlier this month, families of the victims reached a $997 million settlement with local officials, the developers of an adjacent building and others whom they hold responsible for the collapse of the 40-year-old, 12-story beachside building during the early hours of June 24.
Most of the Champlain Towers South collapsed suddenly about 1:20 am last June 24 as most of its residents slept. Only three people survived the initial collapse. No other survivors were found despite the around-the-clock efforts of rescuers who dug through a 40-foot (12-meter) pile of rubble for two weeks. Another three dozen people were in the portion of the building that remained standing.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is investigating the cause of the collapse, a process that is expected to take years.