DAMAC International Addresses Misconceptions Surrounding 8777 Collins Avenue Project In Surfside

Submission A - A cloud-like curvaceous entrance welcomes residents to the luxury condominium complex. Credit: DAMAC International.

DAMAC International, a luxury property developer renowned for setting ambitious standards in design and innovation around the globe and the developer behind the forthcoming Zaha Hadid Architects-designed ultra-luxury condominium at 8777 Collins Avenue, is setting the record straight to address misconceptions and misinformation following the July 25th Town of Surfside Special Commission Meeting to promote an informed dialogue.

*As context:

In June 2023, DAMAC applied for site plan approval incorporating two design variations by the world-renowned architectural firm Zaha Hadid Architects for 8777 Collins Avenue to the Town of Surfside. As part of the application, DAMAC submitted two design variations with a common theme. The submission was based on alternative interpretations of the Town’s regulations. Submission A features consistent elevations on all sides, and Submission B, colloquially referenced as the “wedding cake,” steps in on the South elevation.

Following the Town Commission vote on July 25th not to proceed with an ordinance that would, if adopted, establish a mechanism for Commission to provide setback flexibility for sites in the H-120 zone, DAMAC will be proceeding with Submission B, which is the wedding cake design. Submission B meets all current Town zoning requirements.

The proposed development at 8777 Collins Avenue is not without challenges.

The developer understands this property’s unique and significant sensitivities and remains committed to addressing concerns and maximizing benefits for stakeholders while ensuring privacy for future residents of its exclusive boutique condominium.

Submission B – Angled cloud-like and curvaceous designs welcome residents to the luxury condominium complex. Credit: DAMAC International.

Myths surrounding the proposed development and facts to dispel inaccuracies can be found below:


A nefarious meeting was held in Dubai between the developer and the Mayor of Surfside, and the developer bankrolled the trip for its gain.


Not true. As part of a planned journey to Israel for his son’s graduation last year, the Mayor of Surfside had a prearranged stopover in Dubai. During this stopover, the Mayor of Surfside attended a meeting, suggested by senior management at DAMAC International, to meet with the DAMAC Chairman. This allowed them to meet for the first time and casually discuss the developer’s plan for 8777 Collins Avenue and how a memorial might be accommodated on-site.

DAMAC strongly objects to any inference of wrongdoing. It should also be noted that DAMAC did not pay for any flights, accommodation, or other expenses the Mayor incurred during his stay.


A memorial to the Champlain Towers South disaster victims will/should be located in the center of the property.


The Town of Surfside and the Town’s Memorial Committee have already agreed to a memorial immediately adjacent to the property on a portion of 88th Street. This decision is memorialized in the Town’s Resolution Number 2022-2853, passed on January 11th, 2022, whereby the town manager was directed to pursue all governmental approvals necessary to permanently close a section of 88th Street located in between Collins Avenue on the west and the public beach to the east for a memorial park and pedestrian plaza.

DAMAC purchased the property out of receivership as part of a court-directed process to fund a compensation fund for victim families. There is no condition of the sale requiring a memorial to be located on the site.

Despite being under no obligation to accommodate an onsite memorial, DAMAC participated in discussions with Surfside Commissioners and the Town’s Memorial Committee more than a year ago to discuss the potential to incorporate a memorial on the property. The Town of Surfside rejected the ordinance modifications necessary to facilitate a memorial on the site on 25th July 2023.


DAMAC proposed the potential setback ordinance modifications discussed by the Town Commission on July 25th for its benefit.


The ordinance modification was proposed by Town management following meetings with victim families where some family members had asked for the opportunity for an extension of the public memorial on the property. The ordinance, if adopted, would provide the Town Commission the flexibility to adopt modified setbacks for the property that would, in turn, allow additional space to be created to extend the public memorial space. The ordinance change is not necessary to develop the property as proposed.


If the ordinance reviewed on July 25th is ultimately approved, DAMAC would be the sole beneficiary of the ordinance and would receive 37,600 square feet of extra buildable area (worth $50 million) as a result.


Not true. First, the proposed ordinance would apply to all H-120 zoned land and is not exclusive to the property.

Second, DAMAC’s current plan Submissions are roughly equal in size, and applying the proposed ordinance would not result in additional floor area.

The Town Attorney clarified this issue at the July 25th Commission meeting.

Niall Mc Loughlin, DAMAC International Senior Vice President of Communications, concluded, “We also note comments from the previous Town Commission prior to the sale of the site (and repeated by the former Mayor at the July 25th meeting) that the Town is committed to not “down zoning” the property.”

“Given the upcoming Town elections, DAMAC would not be surprised to see further caustic ‘political theatre” in Surfside, additional grandstanding, and attempts to derail the project and publicly discredit the company for political gain or self-interest. We are confident that the submitted project is consistent with the Town’s regulations and look forward to continuing to work with the Town and stakeholders,” said Niall Mc Loughlin.

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