Jul 20, 2023 - News

Proposal would extend Surfside memorial onto collapse site

Flowers and pictures hang on a temporary memorial site for victims of the Champlain Towers South in 2021. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Surfside commissioners meet next Tuesday to consider a proposal that would build part of a planned memorial to the victims of the Champlain Towers South collapse on the site of the tragedy.

Why it matters: Family members of the victims continue to ask that the memorial be built on the waterfront lot, but the developer planning on building a new condominium there has expressed concern over ceding a large portion of the property.

Driving the news: Surfside Mayor Shlomo Danzinger told Axios his plan is to secure a portion of the land for the memorial by pushing the planned condo closer to the property line on the opposite end of the lot.

  • The town is already planning a memorial on the adjacent 88th Street, which Danzinger says would be expanded onto the Champlain Towers South property under the proposal.
  • He declined to say how big the proposed "foothold" on the collapse site would be, citing ongoing discussions with the developer.

What they're saying: Martin Langesfeld, whose sister and brother-in-law were among the 98 victims of the collapse, has long pushed for a half-acre memorial on the site. But he doesn't think the town has been transparent about the latest proposal, he told Axios.

  • "We hope that this proposal shows our loved ones respect on the land where they died, but conversations so far have not been hopeful."

What's next: Danzinger says he wants to hear input from family members and residents at Tuesday's meeting at Surfside Town Hall.

  • "It's never going to satisfy the families, it's not going to bring healing," he said. "All we're trying to do is what's right."

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