David Martin’s Terra Subpoenaed Over Champlain South Collapse

The judge also approved the sale contract for Damac Properties’ $120 million offer for the Champlain South parcel

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Developers and contractors of the luxury condo that borders the Champlain Towers South site must hand over documents relating to its construction, a judge ordered on Thursday. 

Spearheaded by prominent Miami-based developer, David Martin’s Terra, the Eighty Seven Park condo was completed in 2019 right next to the collapsed Champlain South building in Surfside, Fla., property records show. Prior to the collapse that killed 98 people, residents of Champlain South had complained about drifting debris and vibrations they felt from the construction next door.

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“The Terra project on Collins and 87 are digging too close to our property and we have concerns regarding the structure of our building,” Champlain South condo owner Mara Chouela wrote in an email to Surfside building officials back in 2019, The Washington Post reported.

Engineering services company NV5 — which the developer, Terra-led 8701 Collins Development LLC, had hired to assess the land — must fork over documents relating to the project within 10 days, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman ruled during a court hearing held over Zoom

NV5 had performed “geotechnical construction materials testing, and pre-construction conditions survey of the Champlain Tower South, and vibration monitoring during certain foundation work,” said a lawyer representing the company. The documents could amount to “approximately 100 million pages”, said a lawyer representing the developer.

8701 Collins Development LLC and NV5 were also ordered to hand over all communications between them and the Town of Surfside. 

“If it has anything to do with this building being constructed and the town of Surfside — anything, arguably to do with this building, it better be produced,” Judge Michael Hanzman said.  

Lawyers for the plaintiffs will review the documents and possibly seek to have them included as evidence in the event of settlement negotiations or a trial. 

But the judge warned victims and surviving family members against making ill-conceived conclusions about the guilt of the developer based on his ruling. “Nothing this Court says should be interpreted to suggest that there is any viable claim or any liability of any type on the part of this developer. That remains to be seen,” he said.

For Terra, Eighty Seven Park marked a milestone as the group’s first oceanfront development. It hired word-renowned, Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano to design the 66-unit building. Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic once owned an apartment there. Earlier this month, a 2,279-square-foot unit sold for $9 million — $1.5 million more than when it last traded in 2019, per records.

During the hearing, Judge Hanzman also approved the sale contract for Dubai-based Damac Properties’ $120 million offer for the Champlain South parcel. The site is expected to be sold at auction by next spring.

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com.