A Florida judge on Wednesday approved the sale of the site of the deadly collapse of a beachfront condo building, with the proceeds to compensate victims and their families.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman gave the green light for the sale of Champlain Tower South in Surfside, which is expected to bring in up to $110 million, WTVJ-TV reported.
“He wants us to start exploring a potential sale,” court-appointed administrator Michael Goldberg told the station. “He did say he wants the land to be sold and the proceeds to go directly to the victims as soon as possible.”
The 12-story tower collapsed shortly before 1:30 a.m. on June 24, with officials reporting 95 people are confirmed dead and 14 others still missing as of Tuesday morning.
In a report Wednesday, WPLG-TV said another body had been pulled from the ruins, bringing the death toll to 96.
Goldberg said the pending sale does not preclude a memorial at the site of the collapse — something officials said they plan to push for once the site is cleared.
Hanzman’s ruling on the sale comes as the jurist handles more than a dozen lawsuits filed by the families of those killed in the collapse as well as survivors.
The judge also approved returning $2.4 million in deposits made by residents of the building for their share of an anticipated $15 million repair project.
The repairs were in response to a 2018 engineer’s report that found “major structural damage” at the building — with the work delayed for three years while the condo association bickered over the price tag of the massive fix.