The nation watched in horror as news outlets reported the collapse of the Champlain Towers condos in Surfside, Fla., in June 2021. The building’s sudden collapse during the early-morning hours killed all but three of those inside, prompting questions about its safety. Nearly one year later, a wealthy Dubai developer is set to be the Surfside condo site buyer, the Associated Press reports.
The collapse killed 98 people when it happened on June 24, 2021. At the time, most of the residents were asleep. The Associated Press reported that the parcel of land on which the former building stood was 1.8 acres, or 0.72 hectares. Although an auction was scheduled for May 24, only one potential buyer submitted a bid in time for the May 20 deadline.
DAMAC Properties is buying the land parcel.
Following the condo’s collapse and rescue efforts, the land was marketed for sale as part of a class-action lawsuit. Avison Young, a commercial real estate company, was tasked with selling the site.
According to Avison Young chairman Michael Fay, Dubai-based developer DAMAC Properties,] made the strongest initial bid for the property. DAMAC’s CEO is Hussain Sajwani, who launched DAMAC Group in 1992 as its owner and chairman. In 2002, DAMAC Properties was established as a part of the DAMAC Group.
Hussain Sajwani’s net worth is over $2 billion
Hussain Sajwani, a real estate tycoon from Dubai, recently reached the top of the Forbes list of the richest people in the United Arab Emirates. According to Zawya.com, Sajwani’s net worth was $2.7 billion as of April 2022. That figure placed him at sixth wealthiest overall for the entire Middle East region.
The two to top the list of the wealthiest people in the Middle East were:
1. Nassef Sawiris of Egypt, at $7.7 billion.
2. Issad Rebrab and family of Algeria, at $5.1 billion.
Sajwani founded DAMAC Group and is the head of DAMAC Properties, which became publicly traded on the Dubai Financial Market in 2015. It calls itself “the premier luxury property developer in Dubai.” The company constructs residential, commercial, and leisure properties in the UAE, Jordan, Qatar, Lebanon, and the U.K., among other regions.
What does DAMAC Properties plan to do with the condo site?
Given the business of DAMAC Properties and its CEO, it seems more than likely that the buyer will use the former condo site to develop new real estate. Whether that will consist of residential, commercial, or tourist properties remains to be seen. Sajwani hasn't publicly announced the company's intentions for the site.
The winning bid for the Surfside condo site was approximately $120 million, according to the Associated Press. Avison Young's Michael Fay stated that a number of potential buyers “had shown interest” in the land, but only Sajwani entered a bid by the Friday evening deadline. Fay said that no other bids came close to matching Sajwani's for the upcoming auction.