October is Luxury Month at Inman, and this is the third in a 5-part series looking at the high end market. Check back tomorrow for the biggest luxury city sales of 2021, and click here to read how the luxury housing market became invincible in 2021 and here to see the biggest luxury mountain sales. Then join us for Luxury Connect at the Aria Hotel (Oct. 25-26, 2021) and the live presentation of the Inman Golden I Club honorees for this year.
Palm Beach. The name can be used to summarize what’s been going on with the biggest beach sales of 2021.
Home values in the affluent Florida city have grown by more than 30 percent since the fall of 2021 as a surge of the country’s wealthiest residents flocked to its sunny shores to “wait out” the pandemic.
The pandemic, however, dragged on for far longer than anyone could have imagined and demand for Palm Beach property shows no signs of slowing down. The average single-family home now commands $475,000, and as of today, 2021 has seen four sales of private homes in the city above $90 million.
While details of many of the sales on this list are kept under wraps, records show that some of the biggest beach sales of the year were made by both names you know (Ellen DeGeneres, developer Todd Michael Glaser) and names with enormous spending power that you’ve probably never heard of.
Almost half of the sales on this list were in Palm Beach, but other major hotspots for luxury buying include some of the usual places that come up year after year, like Miami, the Hamptons and Montecito, California.
535 North Country Road
Palm Beach, Florida
Unlike 2020, 2021 saw a string of real estate deals at the highest level within close price range of one another. One such deal is a spec house on a lot that once belonged to former President Donald Trump.
The 61,744-square-foot residence known as Maison de l’Amitié that Trump bought for $41.35 million in 2004 was later demolished and subdivided into three separate lots by Russian fertilizer billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev (he bought it for $95 million in 2008.)
One of these parcels now holds a 21,000-square-foot mansion and sold for around $140 million in February — that makes it the most expensive sale in a city already known to be a billionaire’s playground. Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates represented the seller while Serhant’s Ryan Serhant and Christopher Leavitt of Douglas Elliman worked with the the buyer.
Despite the division into three lots, the property has been mired in controversy due to its connection to Trump. When he was being investigated for possible Russian collusion during the 2016 campaign, Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden called on the Treasury Department to release financial records around the deal and investigate how it could have nearly doubled in value over four years.
In 2005, Apprentice winner Kendra Todd was hired to oversee a $25 million renovation of the property that a 2016 application for demolition obtained by The New York Times revealed was limited to a new kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and “minor interior alterations of doors, frames and windows.”
1840 South Ocean Boulevard
Palm Beach, Florida
While this property didn’t gain as much media attention as some of the other homes on this list, the 15,950-square-foot mansion at 1840 South Ocean Boulevard is one of the second most expensive sale of the year in Palm Beach.
Purchased by German entrepreneur Dr. Ernst Arnold Langner in 2012 for $23.5 million, the estate was rebuilt from the ground up after Langner demolished what stood on the lot and built the current mansion in its place.
Sitting between Lake Worth Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, the house has nine bedrooms, ten full bathrooms and three half-bathrooms.
It sold just a bit under the asking price of $115 million and had Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates representing at once Langner and the buyer.
90 Jule Pond Drive
Southampton, New York
One of the biggest beach sales of the year took place when a 42-acre Hamptons estate sold after more than four years on the market. Listed for $175 million in 2017, 90 Jule Pond Drive sat on the market for years without owner Brenda Earl feeling pressure to lower the price after cutting it once to $145 million.
And then in April 2021, the property unexpectedly entered contract to sell although representatives from Bespoke Real Estate and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty were very sparse on details about the process — all that is known is that the buyer comes from a prominent “American real estate family.” In October, the final sales price was revealed to be $105 million.
The estate comes with a 20,000-square-foot main house with 12 bedrooms, 12 full bathrooms, three partial bathrooms and a swimming pool. It was built in 1957 by Henry Ford’s grandson, Henry Ford II and is exceptionally affluent even for a town where the median listing price is above $2 million.
1341 South Ocean Boulevard
Palm Beach, Florida
If you think this list has an abundance of Palm Bach properties, you are not wrong — what has been known as the billionaire’s playground of South Florida for decades has seen its real estate values skyrocket even more during the pandemic.
The third biggest real estate sale on the island took place in May when clock heir Edward G. Watkins sold his 14,000-square-foot mansion at 1341 South Ocean Boulevard for $95 million.
It sits on a 2.03-acre lot and overlooks scenic palms with waterfront views all around it. Once listed for $110 million, the house wasn’t on the market when it sold and went to an anonymous buyer who hid behind the unoriginally named 1341 South Ocean Boulevard Trust LLC.
It was not, as many of the other sales on this list, a cash transaction — TheRealDeal reported that the buyer took out $60 million from Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Mortgage to finance the sale.
One of the most well-known luxury agent names in Palm Beach, Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates represented this listing as well.
2000 South Ocean Boulevard
Palm Beach, Florida
The Wall Street Journal recently uncovered a slew of sales in Palm Beach, including the $94.2 million purchase of a property at 2000 South Ocean Boulevard known as “The Gemini” by James Clark, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur at the advent of the internet age.
The property was owned by the Ziff publishing family, and previously listed in 2015 for nearly $200 million. The property spans more than 15 acres and includes a 62,200-square-foot mansion. It also boasts 1,200 feet of frontage on the Atlantic Ocean and about 1,300 feet on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Cristina Condon, Todd Peter and Frances Peter of Sotheby’s International Realty held the listing.
Tarpon Island, 10 Tarpon Way
Palm Beach, Florida
While the real estate market in South Florida has been red-hot all year, Todd Michael Glaser has taken such unbridled confidence to degrees unseen before even in a city like Palm Beach.
After purchasing and demolishing a Palm Beach mansion that belonged to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the celebrity real estate developer bought nearby Tarpon Island off the Intracoastal Waterway for approximately $85 million in July.
The 2-and-a-half-acre island is currently only accessible by private bridge, boat, helicopter or seaplane and has a single 1930s-era mansion. At the time that he made the purchase, Glaser announced that he would be redeveloping the island to double the size of the home to 22,000 square feet.
But just two months after all that, Glaser announced that he would be relisting the private island for $120 million as-is or $200 million with the planned renovation. Calling a $100 million house “not that crazy anymore,” Glaser said that the sky-high rate at which Palm Beach real estate has been growing over the last year (a single-family home reached $475,000, a 30 percent increase from 2020) means that there is no time to hold off on buying.
Time will tell whether that will be the case or, as can frequently with properties worth over $100 million, a buyer does not immediately come running.
12525 Seminole Beach Road
Palm Beach, Florida
Larry Ellison, the tenth-wealthiest person in the world, paid $80 million (chump change to a man with a $90 billion empire) for a 15,000-square-foot waterfront estate in, you guessed it, Palm Beach.
Ellison’s vast real estate empire includes homes in Malibu, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Rhode Island, Japan and Hawaii (where he now spends the majority of his time), but this year, 12525 Seminole Beach Road recently caught the Oracle founder’s eye. In April, he bought it from hedge fund manage Gabriel Hoffman for a smidge above the $79.5 million asking price. The deal took place off-market.
At 7.35 acres and 520 feet of ocean footage, the property is the third-largest piece of waterfront land Palm Beach County. The mansion itself, which is built in the Tuscan style and comes with a movie theater, a wine room, a pool with a terrace and a tennis court, is just a small piece of the overall property. The estate also comes with its own helicopter pad, which the listing advertised as a rarity for Palm Beach.
8 S. Lake Trail in Palm Beach
Palm Beach, Florida
A new record was set when investment-services billionaire Charles R. Schwab bought the most expensive lakefront property in Palm Beach, for $71.85 million.
Located at 8 S. Lake Trail, the house belonged to energy financier Robb E. Turner and his wife Lydia who bought it only three years ago for $27 million. The property sits on a dock and overlooks over 180 feet of waterfront.
As the discrepancy between what the Turners paid and sold it for shows, the prices in Palm Beach are growing at breakneck speed — this sale beats the last lakefront record in town by nearly $20 million when Henry R. Kravis purchased 700 N. Lake Way in 2006.
Like many of the other properties on this list, this sale was kept quiet and was only reported on by a few local newspapers like the Palm Beach Daily News.
905 North Ocean Boulevard
Palm Beach, Florida
In an off-market deal, hedge fund billionaire and owner of the Carolina Panthers David Tepper paid $68.4 million for a 11,200-square-foot mansion in February. The property is adjacent to both the ocean and Palm Beach Country Club.
20-30 Spaeth Lane
East Hampton, New York
While the Hamptons was somewhat eclipsed this year by Palm Beach’s skyrocketing popularity among millionaires, the affluent New York enclave regularly tops annual lists of biggest beach sales in the country.
In March, one of the most expensive real estate sales of 2021 took place with the sale of 20 Spaeth Lane for $60 million. Occupying nearly eight acres, the property includes a 15,421-square-foot mid-century modern mansion built in 1955 by architects George Nelson and Gordon Chadwick.
The death of the last owner, Life Savers candy heiress June Noble Smith Larkin Gibson, at the age of 98 led to the house being sold off by her estate.
Listed for $72 million in August 2020, it sold for $60 by spring of 2021; Brown Harris Stevens’ Peter Turino and Christopher Burnside were the listing agents representing the property. While listing photos of the house included art works by Pablo Picasso and Edward Hopper (its early owners were art lovers), it is unclear whether those pieces were included in the sale.
70 Further Lane
East Hampton, New York
In February, 70 Further Lane in East Hampton sold to an unidentified buyer in an off-market deal. The deal took place off the market with not-so-clever names like 70 Further Lane LLC (seller) and 70 Further Lane Holdings LLC (buyer).
The seller was Jim Chanos, a broker whose cutthroat shorting and trading earned him nicknames like the Darth Vader of Wall Street and the Catastrophe Capitalist.
While the main house is not directly adjacent to the beach (at nearly three acres of land, the water is a short walk away), the numerous bedrooms and terraces do boast views of the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Other features include an oceanside pool, a tennis court and a basketball court. A Hampton news outlet known as 27 East reported that Chanos’ ex-wife Amy hosted a party for for former governor Andrew Cuomo at the site in 2010 before his first campaign.
24844 Malibu Road
Another celeb known for his ostentatious real estate moves, Kanye West recently dropped $57.28 million on a 3,665-square-foot house on Malibu’s Puerco Beach. Designed by the same famed architect (Tadao Ando) who worked on Tom Ford’s ranch, the house has the signature concrete style but has not exactly gone down well on social media.
After getting picked up by the popular Zillow Gone Wild Instagram account, the house was described as a “parking garage,” an “abandoned clinic” and a “high-end bunker for a cult leader” by social media users.
The house has three stories and was built on a 0.13-acre stretch of waterfront in 2013. Previous owners include Ashley Olsen’s boyfriend Richard Sachs and voice actor Edie Boddicker.
While West could not be independently confirmed as the owner, it is extremely likely as the company that made the sale is registered to the same address as Yeezy, the rapper’s extremely popular clothes and shoe line. The sale took place as West is in the midst of navigating an extremely high-profile divorce from Kim Kardashian.
174 Via Del Lago
Palm Beach, Florida
Hotelier Beatrice Tollman, founder of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, sold her 15,200-square-foot Palm Beach mansion for roughly $57 million back in March to an undisclosed buyer. She and her husband had owned the home since 1987, when they bought it for $2.7 million.
It comes with all the expected amenities of a waterfront mansion, including a dock, a tennis court, nine bedrooms, 10 full bathrooms and six half baths. The agent representing the property is not immediately known.
382 South Beach Road
Palm Beach, Florida
Australian golf icon from the 1980s and 1990s Greg Norman sold the 32,000-square-foot estate at 382 South Beach Road on Jupiter Island to the family of billionaire and L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner.
Closing on April 7, the sale is a small cut from the $60 million that Norman and his wife Kiki had asked for it originally. The entire estate takes up 8.3 acres and features a 32,000-square-foot house that Norman has been renovating himself over the last few years. The entire estate has over 170 feet of direct ocean and waterfront access.
Jill Hertzberg of The Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker and Michelle Thomson of Coldwell Banker’s Thomson Team worked with Norman to sell the house. The sale was evidently an act of downsizing since, not long after the sale was complete, he paid $12.2 million for a six-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bathroom mansion at 12227 Tillinghast Circle in Palm Beach Gardens.
75-5471 Kona Bay
Big Island, Hawaii
The biggest sale in the history of Hawaii’s Big Island took place in July when a property that belonged to the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen sold for $43 million.
Located at 75-5471 Kona Drive, the 22-acre compound has over 12,000 square feet of living space and is surrounded by the ocean views of Kailua Bay on nearly every side.
As with many of the properties on this list, the deal took place off-market to an unidentified buyer. Allen, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 65, had owned the compound for decades after buying it in 1997 for $11 million.
While the central house was built decades ago by newspaper publisher Lorrin Thurston, Allen has spent considerable resources expanding the compound. Buildings he added include a 9,080-square-foot house with five bedrooms and five bathrooms and a 2,968-square-foot house with six bedrooms and five bathrooms.
The sale is part of an overall reselling of Allen’s estate that has slowly been taking place after his death; his 3.2-acre compound in Beverly Hills was also listed a month prior to this sale for $55 million.
40 Meadow Lane
Southampton, New York
In April 0f this year, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft bought the house located at 40 Meadow Lane from former HFZ Capital Group Principal Nir Meir for $43 million.
The home is typical of the types of properties one expects to see in Southampton — white exterior, 6,600 square feet, large plot of land with a swimming pool — but entered real estate news coverage for more than just its price.
Meir, who bought the property in 2013 for $10.5 million and has been repeatedly trying to push through renovations despite neighbor objections, has been named in a New York City lawsuit concerning the property in December.
After numerous fights with his partners at HFZ and claims that he was using the firm as his “personal piggy bank,” the lawsuit alleged that Meir was illegally occupying the property. Neither the case nor the subsequent countersuit filed by Meir amounted to anything, and the conflict was settled a few months later when the property sold to Kraft.
5800 North Bay Road
Due to the city’s location on the water, most mansions sales in Miami fall simultaneously into both the “city” and “beach” categories. In August, famed “Genesis” drummer Phil Collins sold his $40 million Biscayne Bay estate, once owned by Jennifer Lopez to an unidentified buyer.
While the exact sale price has not been made public, the 10,769-square-foot, Mediterranean-style estate had been on the market for just over a month until a buyer whose identity was protected by an LLC scooped it up.
The front of the home has 184 feet of beachfront property overlooking Miami’s Biscayne Bay while a private dock, pool, spa, 6,000-gallon koi pond, summer kitchen and cabana give it the feel of a tropical resort.
Jill Hertzberg, of the Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker held the listing.
12088 Banyan Road
North Palm Beach, Florida
In June, SERHANT’s Ryan Serhant brokered the sale of an oceanfront mansion in North Palm Beach’s Seminole Landing area. Hedge-fund manager Igor Tulchinsky, paid $39.5 million for the 19,000-square-foot mansion that was first listed in 2019 for $42 million. Douglas Elliman’s Elizabeth Zahra and Gary Pohrer held the listing while Chris Leavitt also worked with Serhant.
Real estate developer Jeffrey Jacobs had built the home after buying the land more than 20 years ago in the style of a 1920s villa with the help of local Palm Beach preservationist and architect Gene Pandula. It has nine bedrooms, coffered ceilings and murals made to look like those you’d find in an earlier time period. Another interesting feature is a small tower that Jacobs used to hold a telescope.
“We flew down for a few hours, saw it, picked it,” Serhant said of the sale to TheRealDeal.
46 Star Island Drive
Miami Beach, Florida
Built in 1926, Miami Beach’s 46 Star Island Drive has been an iconic sight the city for almost 100 years now. When Florida entrepreneur Carl Fisher built the 20,000-square-foot mansion in 1924, nothing quite so grand existed in the area.
It is, of course, grand by today’s standards as well: a Mediterranean-style villa with 40 rooms, 12 bathrooms, 250 feet of water frontage and a private dock. Originally listed for $65 million in 2016, the home had been on and off the market since then. At one point, it even went to auction, but after the sale fell through, itwent back on the market for $42 million in 2018.
Alexa Eve Iacovelli and Dora Puig of Luxe Living Realty held the listing for seller Marco Iacovelli, one of the agents’ fathers and founder of Miami-based Rally Manufacturing.
A private island off Miami Beach, Star Island has been less popular than places like Palm Beach among ultra-wealthy urbanites fleeing the pandemic due to its slightly more isolated location but could be turning around as evidenced by a recent string of large sales.
1 Star Island Drive
Another major beach sale took place when singer-producer duo Emilio and Gloria Estefan sold their Miami mansion for $35 million.
Located in the gated Miami community of Star Island, the 58,000-square-foot estate sits on over an acre of land overlooking Biscayne Bay and is built in the style of a Floridian villa. Views of the MacArthur Causeway and Miami adorn almost every room in the house.
Once again, Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber of Coldwell Banker’s Jills Zeder Group represented the property while Compass’ Todd Nordstrom worked with the anonymous buyer.
Due to its proximity both to Miami and the water, 1 Star Island Drive is at once a beach and city sale. The deal closed in late July and is indicative of Florida’s fast-growing real estate market as more people chose to move there to be in a warm climate during the pandemic.
In Miami, home prices grew by 46 percent between summer 2020 and now. The Estefans bought this home in 1993 for $1.84 million and, wanting to sell for a while now, first listed it in 2015 for $40 million and then again in 2019 for $35 million.
3323 Devon Court
Real estate folks in South Florida will have surely heard of Argentine-American “condo king” Jorge Perez. Known for developing over 90,000 buildings in Miami over his 40-year career, Perez sold his own 3323 Devon Court property to cannabis executive Jonathan Sandelman and his wife Alicia Bona Sandelman for $33 million in September.
The sale price is exactly what Perez asked for the property known as “Villa Cristina” and located in the Hughes Cove gated community of Miami’s Coconut Grove. It is built in the style of a Venetian Palazzo and, at 10,000 square feet and 482 feet of water frontage, overlooks Biscayne Bay.
Also well-known real estate names in Miami, Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber of the Jills Zeder Group at Coldwell Banker once again had this listing while Lisa Sayfie of Compass worked with the Sandelmans.
With a net worth of over $2 billion, Perez is certainly not dependent on the proceeds from the house for spending money and chose to gift them to the Miami Foundation, a nonprofit that connects wealthy donors to local causes.