Three Beachfront Penthouses
by amy miller gross
There’s a penthouse to suit every price point and predilection, which is why a building’s peak floors are always in high demand. Here, two real estate specialists dish on the literal tops of the real estate market.
SUSAN RINDLEY, REAL ESTATE CONSULTANT, ONE SOTHEBY’S
What sets this penthouse property apart from the bulk of what’s on the market?
Susan Rindley: It’s just north of the Eden Roc hotel in the Villa di Mare building, and is exclusive, boutique and very private. There are only 12 owners here. This 5,000-square-foot property takes up the entire 16th floor. The unit has two private elevators, one of which leads to the rooftop where you have an infinity pool that feels like it pours right into the ocean. The price point is fantastic—you’re just north of South Beach for $3.2 million.
What’s the best way for potential clients to see the neighborhood?
We wanted to be a little bit different, so we offer helicopter rides that give our clients a bird’s-eye view of South Florida. Seeing the water 300 to 500 feet up is amazing. Also, a lot of our clients own yachts and want to know how fast they’d be able to get out from the properties to the inlets and the ocean.
For those not necessarily looking for a penthouse, where’s the single best spot in Miami Beach to put your money?
I would say a condominium on the beach in the South of Fifth Street district. You can’t go wrong in Apogee or Continuum.
BRAGI SIGURDSSON, BROKER AND CO-OWNER, SIGURDSSON SCHECHTER LUXURY REAL ESTATE
Which properties are exciting you at the moment?
Bragi Sigurdsson: I have two penthouses that are really unique. Take the one at the Fontainebleau: This is 4,500 square feet—all on one level—with a huge 2,500-square-foot outdoor terrace. There are only two of them at the Fontainebleau, and I sold the one on the south side for $12.8 million in 2008, which at the time was a record. Today the identical unit on the north side of the building is listed for $9.8 million. Living at a hotel, you get catered to in every way. And when you’re not using your unit, the hotel can rent it out. There’s a great penthouse at the W South Beach, where the developers set out to do the absolute best building down here, and they succeeded. For $8 million, you get 2,700 square feet of interior space and 3,300 exterior. There are terraces off the main area and then an entire roof-deck above it. As far as execution and detailing to the unit, that’s the best one we have. While the home at the Fontainebleau is bigger, the penthouse at the W is a landmark.
Describe your selling style.
Typically I spend three to six months with a client, educating them before they buy. My partner, Linda Schechter, and I really take care of everything and go further than they expect. There’s no limit to what we will do for our buyers: In fact, later this afternoon, I’m running down to Coral Gables to check out a car for a client!
Give me some can’t-go-wrong advice for the Miami Beach real estate market.
This city is very attractive to people from all over the world, so buying in Miami Beach is still a good bet. There’s some uncertainty midmarket—the $500,000 to $1 million price point—so my advice would be to think oceanfront or bayfront. Luxury buildings will do better in the long run. Buy the best quality you can afford.
TOP IMAGE: The private infi nity pool atop the Villa di Mare is one of the $3.2 million-penthouse’s amenities.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JEFF HERRON (VILLA DI MARE)
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.