MIAMI (WSVN) - The land the Champlain Towers South once stood on may soon be going up for sale.
At a status hearing on Wednesday, the focus was on getting money into the hands of the survivors as soon as possible.
Judge Michael Hanzman held the weekly status hearing for those involved, with approximately 20 civil lawsuits, following the tragedy.
“This is a very unique case in all respects,” attorney Brad Sohn said. “We’ve gotten started, essentially, immediately. Our job is to provide a public service to this community.”
Hanzman ordered the attorneys involved to create a leadership structure among themselves and to try and structure the suit to limit expenditures for the victims.
“Whether it’s insurance or whether it’s defendants, the goal of that is to bring as much money to the table as possible,” attorney John H. Ruiz said.
However, what is the best way to move forward with the property where Champlain Towers South once stood?
Options brought up include creating a memorial for the lives lost or sell the property, which could be worth somewhere between $100 to $130 million.
“There were some people at the last hearing [who] expressed a desire to have some memorial on the property, and the court is sympathetic to that, but I want to make it very clear that the victims of this tragedy are not going to be sacrificing their funds and their property for a memorial,” said Hanzman.
Hanzman reiterated how quickly he wants to help those affected by the tragedy.
“If the state or any governmental agency wants to step up and acquire that property at fair market value, it is, of course, free to do so and do whatever it likes with the property, but that is going to be a long process,” he said. “It’s my belief that no governmental agency is going to be able to move as quickly as this court intends to move, so while that’s a possibility, I want you to be proceeding forward with whatever needs to be done to monetize that property, so we can get money in the hands of these people.”
The judge and the group of attorneys are set to meet again on Friday.
“The judge wants to expedite this for the families,” an attorney said.
“You got them justice. That’s the heart and soul of the American dream,” another attorney said. “You can’t ask for no more or no less.”
Approximately $40 million in insurance payments have been identified and are being processed.
At the site in Surfside, the search and recovery efforts continue on Wednesday. Also on Wednesday, 911 recordings were released that captured the panic that ensued following the condo’s collapse.
7SkyForce captured crushed cars being towed away from the scene.
As of the last media briefing, 97 victims have been found in the rubble.
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