The Real Deal Miami

Steve Witkoff nets $5M on Sunset Lake home flip

The real estate investor bought it for its underlying value in land-scarce Miami Beach
By Emily Schmall | July 26, 2013 06:00PM

2817 Lake Ave., Miami Beach

Real estate investor Steve Witkoff flipped a Sunset Lake mansion in Miami Beach for $14.75 million in July, netting more than $5 million profit after only 13 months of ownership and little to no improvements, brokers John Sandberg and Ann Nortmann of Douglas Elliman told The Real Deal.

Witkoff is the founder and chief executive of the Witkoff Group, which owns more than 20 buildings, including the Woolworth building in New York City.

“Witkoff is a brilliant guy: He’s got a chip in his head that sees value where others don’t. He bought the place for the land,” Sandberg said, describing a lot just shy of an acre and a 310-foot, oval-shaped waterfront.

“This documents the sudden uptick in land, as the house was purchased mostly for its land and development potential,” the brokers, who are also engaged, said in a release Friday.

The seven-bedroom, 10,296-square-foot home at 2817 Lake Ave. in Miami Beach was built in 1939, which means that it can’t be demolished under present city code on pre-1942 homes.

The buyers of the property are Randy and Lana Whitman, according to Miami-Dade public records. Mr. Whitman is the scion of Bal Harbour founder Stanley Whitman and an executive in the family business, which is jointly developing the gargantuan mixed-use Brickell CityCentre with Swire Properties in Miami.

The Whitmans had no comment, according to their broker, Jeff Davidson of Coldwell Banker. “It’s going to be fabulous,” Davidson said of the couples’ plan to remodel.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misattributed the identity of the buyers to Jeff Davidson.