While national reports may focus on the housing crisis in Miami, I’ve always said that there is always a market for luxury, and that has once again proven to be true. Over the past three weeks, the real estate market in Miami Beach has seen some massive deals go through, including two over $10 million and one that was the first house sold for more than $1,000 a square foot.
The biggest of these deals was the $16 million sale of my property at 88 La Gorce Circle, a spec house that appeared in Haute Living last year. Situated on a 50,000-square-foot-lot with 270 feet of waterfront, the property, called OKTO, features a brand-new 20,000-square-foot house, which my team and I built from the ground up in just 10 months. It is one project that I am particularly proud of. The flowing floor plan separates “back of house” function spaces (such as dual laundry rooms, staff quarters, ample storage spaces, and a five-car garage with berthing large enough for limousines), from the opulent living areas. The master bed and bath have floor-to-ceiling glass sliders that seem to disappear when opened, exposing the his-and-her soaking tubs to the direct Florida sunlight. The terrace overlooks the pool and manicured lawns, as well as the elevated guesthouse and cabana. With all of this, I am not surprised it wasn’t on the market for very long.
Last Friday, an $11.9 million deal closed on an estate at 55 Palm Ave. This project was extremely interesting for me, as it involved a unique historical restoration of an original 1920s Spanish Colonial-style residence on Palm Island, providing city tax abatement for 10 years. Set on a 30,000-square-foot lot, the home features a three-car garage, service quarters, formal dining room, elevator, a grand waterfront master suite and sitting area, his-and-her baths and walk-in closets, and more. We incorporated a 10,000-square-foot modern addition, careful to blend the old and the new, and the possibilities are endless. There is room for a media room, library, office, gym, outdoor barbecue, separate guest rooms, a playroom, sitting areas, and more. The details are what really sets it apart, though: 12-foot cathedral beamed ceilings, quatrefoils windows, fireplaces, a romantic interior courtyard, oversize heated pool on beautifully landscaped grounds featuring flowering vines. It’s the quintessential Miami Beach island property.
Back on the barrier island, 40 La Gorce Circle sold for $7.4 million—an 8,200-square-foot, six-bedroom, eight-bathroom masterpiece built in 1937, perched on the tip of La Gorce Island. Nearby, the six-bed, seven-bath French colonial home at 6 La Gorce sold for $4.5 million.
However, the deal that earned the most amount of ink was Alex Rodriguez’s purchase of 4358 North Bay Road; the baseball all-star paid $7.4 million for a vacant, 50,000-square-foot lot, where I’m helping him build the home of his dreams from the ground up.
And finally, Penthouse B at The Setai sold for $15 million, or $2,416 a square foot. The unit is fully furnished, with four bedrooms and four baths, as well as a 3,800-square-foot terrace that features a lavish private pool and hot tub. The previous owner acquired the property directly from the developer in 2004 for $9.5 million. As far as I know, this price sets the record for condo sales in Miami-Dade County. The 10,000-square-foot penthouse, which takes up the entire 40th floor of The Setai, was originally listed for $34 million in 2006, and then dropped to $22 million. Last month, the asking price was reduced to $19,999,999.