Douglas Elliman to lead sales of Damac’s condo project on Surfside collapse site

52-unit building designed by Zaha Hadid Architects planned for oceanfront property where 98 people died

Damac Hires Elliman For Surfside Collapse Site Condo Project

From left: Hussain Sajwani and Jay Parker along with a rendering of Damac’s condo project on the Surfside collapse site (Getty, Damac Properties, Douglas Elliman)

The developer that acquired the Surfside collapse site hired Douglas Elliman to sell the luxury condominium planned for the oceanfront property, The Real Deal has learned. 

Dubai-based Damac Properties could launch sales of the 52-unit condo project at 8777 Collins Avenue later this year. Sources told TRD that Elliman will lead sales and marketing of the planned development. 

Elliman and Damac declined to comment. 

Damac was the sole bidder interested in the property where 98 people died when Champlain Towers South collapsed in June 2021. The developer acquired the site a year later for $120 million. Local developers and brokerages largely stayed away from the site because of the stigma associated with the tragedy. 

Led by Hussain Sajwani, Damac plans a 12-story boutique condo project designed by Zaha Hadid Architects on the 1.8-acre property. The units’ asking price range is unknown. 

Elliman led sales of the adjacent Eighty Seven Park, a Terra-led condo development in Miami Beach, which was completed in 2019. The brokerage, led in Florida by CEO Jay Parker, doesn’t appear to have any active developments in Surfside. 

Damac previously has said the condo will be “the most luxurious project” to ever rise in Surfside. The company previously planned a Cavalli-branded project on the site. It’s unclear if it will work with a brand on the development. 

The small oceanfront town already is home to high-end condos, including Fendi Château Residences and the Four Seasons Residences at the Surf Club, where several record deals have closed. 

Last month, a five-bedroom penthouse at the Surf Club sold for $44 million, or $6,000 per square foot. The deal beat the previously known per-square-foot price record set in 2022, when ex-NBAer and current Miami Heat President Pat Riley and his wife sold their Surf Club condo unit for nearly $5,800 a foot

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The median price for condos in Surfside jumped 60 percent to $1.2 million in the first quarter of this year, according to a report from the Corcoran Group. Condo sales were nearly flat in the first quarter, year-over-year, at 22 closings, but sales volume rose 121 percent to $141 million, in part thanks to the Surf Club sale.   

It’s unclear how the Surfside property’s tragic history will affect sales of Damac’s project, but some experts have said the developer will likely tap foreign buyers who don’t have an emotional connection to the site, rather than local buyers.

Sajwani, who has a net worth of $5.1 billion, according to Forbes, founded Damac in 2002, eventually developing over 35,000 residential units mostly in the Middle East and London. The firm’s projects include Damac Towers by Paramount Hotels & Resorts with 1,200 residential units and a hotel, and Aykon City with four residential towers and an entertainment and retail plaza. Both projects are in Dubai. 

Sajwani also is sometimes referred to as the “Donald Trump of Dubai,” perhaps a nod to his penchant for flashy projects and also to his ties to the Trump Organization. The Damac Hills development in Dubai features a Trump-branded golf club, with Eric and Donald Trump Jr. attending the 2017 official opening. 

Already, Damac’s planned Surfside project has proved politically divisive in the town. Contention boiled over when it was revealed that former Mayor Shlomo Danzinger met with Sajwani in Dubai in 2022 without disclosing the trip to Surfside officials. Danzinger defended the trip and argued his political opponents were exploiting it for campaigning.

In March, Danzinger, as well as former Vice Mayor Jeffrey Rose and former commissioner Fred Landsman, who together often formed one voting block, were voted out of office. 

Read more

In September, Surfside commissioners voted 3-2 to approve the condo project, though the resolution called for Damac to move a garbage pickup away from 88th Street, where the collapse memorial is planned. The resolution also allows Damac to pursue its current plan if the Florida Department of Transportation and Miami-Dade County don’t sign off on moving the garbage pickup to the southwest corner of the development site near 87th Terrace.  

The Surfside project marks Damac’s first in the U.S. 

A number of new residential projects are underway in Surfside. Fort Partners, developer of the Surf Club, recently paid $60 million to acquire the site at 8995 Collins Avenue where an 11-story, 19-unit condo building could be built. Fort Partners is also under construction on Seaway Villas at 9133 and 9149 Collins Avenue, adjacent to the Surf Club. It’s also planning an 11-story, 14-unit condo at 9163-9165 Collins Avenue.