South Florida’s top residential deals of 2009

alternate textFrom left: 1200 South Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach, the Continuum in Miami, Shaquille O’Neal

The historic housing market meltdown continued its ripple effects through South Florida’s real estate market in 2009, but the waters here are not yet calmed. Lower prices may be around the corner as the next wave of foreclosures looms. At the same time, many adjustable-rate mortgages will have new rates kick in 2010 and credit availability remains a major concern for prospective buyers.

As experts make predictions for 2010, The Real Deal is bringing you its top five picks for South Florida residential real estate transactions of 2009. From Palm Beach to South Beach and key cities in between, 2009 proved to be interesting examples of trend-bucking, celebrity-gazing and foreign buyers. 

1. La Bellucia makes a Palm Beach record

Palm Beach got its 2009 record deal just before year’s end. On Dec. 23, La Bellucia, a nine-bedroom palatial mansion at 1200 S. Ocean Boulevard, designed by Palm Beach’s best known architect, Addison Minzer, was purchased by Los Angeles real estate developer and billionaire Jeffrey Greene in a $24 million record-breaking deal. The 12,000-square-foot house, sold by First Allied Jacksonville, a Rochester, NY-based holding company owned by Palm Beach resident and billionaire sports team owner Malcolm Glazer, is one of the island’s architectural crown jewels. It sits on a 3.8-acre estate. Paulette Koch and Dana Koch, Corcoran Group associates and partners, listed the trophy property for $27.5 million. Lynn Warren and Gary Little of Fite-Shavell & Associates, represented the buyer. Paulette Koch last year brokered the $77.5 million sale of the ultra-modern Sidney Kimmel estate at 1236 S. Ocean Blvd., two properties south of La Bellucia.

Before that deal, the largest one in Palm Beach was best-selling novelist James Patterson’s July purchase of 710 S. Ocean Boulevard for $17.415 million.

2. Shaq sells Star Island manse at huge discount

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Miami Beach’s Star Island is home to many celebrities. Gloria Estefan, Enrique Iglesias, Lenny Kravitz and others keep palatial homes there. Who got out in 2009? NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal, who sold his six-bedroom, seven-bathroom, 18,400-square-foot abode at 26 Star Island Drive in June. The sale of O’Neal’s mansion is diametrically opposed to the $17.415 million Palm Beach sale of 710 S. Ocean Boulevard to best-selling novelist James Patterson. 

Shaq sold his Star Island house for $16 million in June, after it languished on the market for four years. The price dropped like a bad free-throw percentage — he originally sought $35 million for the manse. The average listing price for similar homes for sale in the area is $18.35 million, according to Trulia. But given the big picture, Shaq may feel like he got a slam dunk. The average sales price for similar recently sold homes is about $6 million. 

3. Priciest condo sale of the year

Across the bridge from Shaq’s old luxury shack sits the highest-priced condo sale of the year. Penthouse 1 at 100 S. Pointe Drive, a five-bedroom, 7.5-bathroom condo atop the Continuum, sold for $9.9 million in May. The oceanfront residence features expansive walls of windows with 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean, South Beach, Fischer Island and Downtown Miami, as well as a rooftop pool. 

The seller originally listed the property for $25 million in March 2007, but he’s not crying over a loss. The seller paid $7 million for the property in 2003, making nearly $3 million on the deal despite a down economy. 

4. Dolphins owner sells

The Miami Dolphins wasn’t the only asset H. Wayne Huizenga sold this year. In another high-profile residential real estate sale, Huizenga sold his Fort Lauderdale home at 1745 S. E. 8th Street for $10.39 million in April. Huizenga sold the home to the 1801 Land Trust.  

5. Piaget family buys in Tiger’s neck of the Woods

Golf great Tiger Woods’ athletic fate remains unclear, but one of his neighbors sold out in October. The single-family home at 111 W. Bears Club Drive in Jupiter sold for $4.95 million. This was a deal of international proportions, one of the many examples of foreigners purchasing properties for pennies on the U.S. dollar across South Florida. Helga and Yves Piaget, of the Swiss watchmaker and jewelry company, bought the property through a corporate purchasing entity named 111 West Bear’s Club Drive. It looks like the jewelry makers struck gold. reports average sales price for similar recently sold homes is $7.2 million.