Damac plans Cavalli-branded luxury condos on Surfside collapse site

Dubai-based developer is buying the oceanfront land for $120M

Damac Properties’ Hussain Sajwani and the site of Champlain Towers South (Damac Properties, iStock)
Damac Properties’ Hussain Sajwani and the site of Champlain Towers South (Damac Properties, iStock)

Hussain Sajwani’s Damac Properties will develop a Cavalli-branded condominium on the Surfside collapse site.

As the winning bidder, the Dubai-based company will pay $120 million for the almost 2-acre oceanfront property at 8777 Collins Avenue. The development will mark Damac’s first project in the U.S.

Damac has been looking for sites in Miami. Sajwani called the city a “natural fit” for Damac in a press release.

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Sajwani, who founded Damac in 2002, has shown a penchant for flashy projects, including luxury branded developments. The company also is expanding in other industries such as fashion, hospitality, the metaverse, NFTs and data centers, according to the release.

In 2019, Sajwani’s private investment firm bought the Cavalli luxury fashion brand. Damac is developing the 70-story Cavalli Tower in Dubai.

South Florida has become a haven for luxury branded condo developments, including Porsche Design Tower and Armani/Casa Residences in Sunny Isles Beach; and Four Seasons Residences and Hotel at the Surf Club, and Fendi Chateau Residences, in Surfside.

But Damac’s future Surfside property is likely the most controversial development site in the country. It is the final resting place for the 98 people who died in the tragic collapse last summer.

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Damac did not disclose details on its planned condo project, such as the number of units or the building’s height. The property has 200 feet of direct beach frontage, according to the release.

The majority of the company’s projects are in Dubai, but it also has developments in Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and London. They include the four-tower Aykon City with an entertainment and retail plaza in Dubai, and Damac Towers Nine Elms with Versace interiors in London.

Damac also has partnered with the Trump Organization, including on the Middle East’s first Trump-branded golf course that opened at the Damac Hills development in 2017.

The proceeds from the Surfside property sale will go toward the settlement for the Champlain Towers South unit owners. The 12-story building collapsed in the early morning of June 24.

Those who lost their condo units, considered the economic loss plaintiff class in the litigation over the collapse, have settled for $96 million. The money will be drawn from the sale of the site to Damac and Champlain’s $30 million in property insurance.

The families of those who lost loved ones in the collapse, or the wrongful death plaintiff class, are in line to get a total settlement of more than $1 billion. Contributors to the payout include insurers for the Terra-led development team of the Eighty Seven Park condo. The lawsuit alleged construction of Eighty Seven Park contributed to the collapse, though the development team has denied any wrongdoing.

In the release, Damac touted its expansion to the U.S. as a company milestone.

“This is an exciting time,” Sajwani said, “and we have a lot in store.”