Private bidder offers up to $120 million for collapsed Florida condo site

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FILE – In this June 25, 2021, file photo, rescue personnel work at the remains of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Fla. A private bidder is willing to offering up to $120 million to purchase the Miami-area oceanfront property where the collapsed Champlain Towers South building once stood. The offer was revealed Wednesday, Aug. 12, during a hearing before Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

(AP) – A private bidder is offering up to $120 million to purchase the Miami-area oceanfront property where the collapsed Champlain Towers South building once stood.

The offer was revealed Wednesday during a hearing before Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman. He’s overseeing the dozens of lawsuits that have been filed since the condominium collapsed on June 24, killing 98 people.

The judge authorized negotiation of an agreement with the bidder, who wasn’t publicly identified. A real estate broker told the judge he had a “letter of interest” from the bidder offering $110 million. He said the bidder is willing to offer up to $120 million.

Locals and grieving families have debated the matter of whether it is appropriate to rebuild on the site or whether it should be turned into a memorial.

Some family members have suggested the government buy the property for use as a memorial, saying the blood spilled on the site made it inappropriate for commercial development. But other survivors want the structure rebuilt so they can move back in.

In July, the mayor of neighboring Miami Beach proposed setting aside an area of a park in his city to erect a memorial for the victims of the Surfside tragedy.

“So many in my community knew or were one degree of separation from the victims of this unthinkable tragedy,” Mayor Dan Gelber wrote in a letter to the judge.

Officials are still trying to determine the cause of the collapse.

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