Furious families of Surfside condo collapse victims have criticized plans to build a new luxury skyscraper on the site where 98 people were killed.
The design of the 45-unit luxury condo at Place des Tours Champlain Sud proposes to collect waste from the building near the entrance to a memorial park.
Relatives have branded the proposal “insulting” to those who died in the horrific tragedy two years ago, saying it minimizes how the deceased will be honoured.
Trucks will drive to the scene of the tragedy with garbage collected nearby, they warned.
The proposed development, including 57 condominiums and two swimming pools, was announced even though the exact cause of the collapse has not been determined.
The memorial park, which the developer has promised to build, will not be completed until the condo project is built, the Washington Post reported.
Relatives of the victims have criticized plans to build a luxury beachfront skyscraper on the site where 98 people were killed in a sudden building collapse in Florida two years ago.
DAMAC International released two renderings of the possible design in June while the exact cause of the collapse had not been determined.
Families have branded the proposal “insulting” to those who died in the horrific tragedy, saying it minimizes how the deceased will be honoured. People attended a vigil (pictured) for residents of a partially collapsed residential building in June 2021.
“We don’t have anything at the site of the collapse, and we don’t know what we’re getting on 88th Street because they keep cutting it off for the developer’s benefit,” said Martin Langesfeld, whose sister and brother-in-law, Nicole Langesfeld and Luis Sadovnic were killed in the collapse.
The victims’ families and former commissioners vehemently opposed the project, which the City Commission now appears ready to approve.
The debate is centered around a block of 88th Street, near the site of the collapse, at 8777 Collins Avenue.
Last year, the former city commission called for traffic restrictions for a memorial park and pedestrian plaza.
“I desperately wanted to protect the families because, you know, my friends died there,” said former City Commissioner Eliana Salzhauer. “Everyone knew someone who died there.”
But the board is now ready to allow DAMAC International, a Dubai-based developer, to place a loading dock entrance on 88th Street and reclaim the area.
Opponents suggested collusion. A widely circulated bar photo shows Planning and Zoning Board Chairwoman Caroline Baumel smiling as she sits on the laps of Vice Mayor Jeffrey Rose and David Forbes, another board member.
Baumel and Forbes said the claims were disgusting, adding that they only met informally for drinks.
“At no time have any of us discussed anything on this agenda, on past agendas or on future agendas,” Forbes said angrily at the meeting of the board of directors last month.
Former Commissioner Salzhauer had a heated debate with Mayor Shlomo Danzinger this month.
“Would you like me to provide feedback on a presentation that has not yet taken place? ” she asked. “You call yourself representatives of the people. You help yourself.
“They keep reducing it for the benefit of the developer,” said Martin Langesfeld (pictured), whose sister and brother-in-law, Nicole Langesfeld and Luis Sadovnic, were killed in the collapse.
The exact cause of the collapse has still not been determined after two years
It comes amid concerns from a structural engineer that the pool deck could have collapsed first and taken the rest of the building with it.
Florida transportation officials said they had not given guidance on construction,
“We’re basically on a blind curve,” said Jeffery Rossely, DAMAC’s senior vice president of concepts and design. But he maintains the company is following state guidelines.
East Oceanside Development, LLC, associated with DAMAC, purchased the property for $120 million per year after the tragic collapse.
DAMAC argues that if large moving trucks use a loading dock on Collins Avenue, as critics object, it could pose a traffic hazard because of the steep angle of the state highway at the site.
“It’s a tough question because there’s an emotional aspect to it,” Surfside Mayor Danzinger said. ABC News in June, when the developer released two possible designs for the property.
He added that the city “can’t deny a project unless there is a legal reason.”