High priced spec home: $35M in Bal Harbour

252 Bal Bay Drive in Bal Harbour and Oren Alexander
252 Bal Bay Drive in Bal Harbour and Oren Alexander

Shlomy Alexander and his son Oren are developing a waterfront mansion in Bal Harbour, priced at a whopping $35 million, amid a rush of luxury spec homes in South Florida, The Real Deal has learned.

The 13,500-square-foot home, at 252 Bal Bay Drive, was designed by architect Chad Oppenheim, with landscaping by Fernando Wong. The style, said Oren Alexander, is “urban subtropical modern,” with courtyards and sliding glass doors that open to outdoor living spaces, creating 20,000 square feet of total livable space. The rooftop features a bar, Jacuzzi and fire pit.

“A lot of the inspiration comes from Brazil, where you have incredible nature,” Oren Alexander told TRD, “and we wanted to incorporate that into the home.”

The eight bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion is under construction, and is expected to be completed by the end of May, he said. The Alexanders purchased the 20,197 square-foot vacant lot through an affiliated company  in June 2012 for $5.55 million, according to Miami-Dade property records.

Oren’s father has a history of developing spec homes, including a $47 million home on Indian Creek Island that set a record in 2012 when it was purchased by a Russian billionaire. Oren Alexander, co-founder of the Alexander Team at Douglas Elliman, had the listing.

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The developers’ goal, Oren Alexander said, is to “find the best piece of property, hire the best architect, and build with the best quality and high-end materials inside and outside.” Among those materials will be Belgian oak and Italian travertine Romana stone, personally chosen at an Italian quarry. The Bal Harbour home also will be staged with $1 million of furniture, he said.

“It’s a spectacular house,” said Oppenheim, principal of Oppenheim Architecture + Design, who also designed the interiors. “It epitomizes the possibilities of living in South Florida, in terms of indoor-outdoor living. Everything opens to a garden or a view of the water. It’s really dramatic in how it heightens your connectivity to the horizon, the sunset.”

In today’s hot residential real estate market, local spec home developers, including Todd Glaser and Bart Raines, are amping up their game. New York-based real estate investor Peter Fine, who lives part-time in Miami Beach, has recently launched To Better Days Development, and is building three waterfront spec mansions in Miami Beach, priced at $18 million to $30 million.

Spec home fever is also spreading south to Coral Gables and Pinecrest, said Master Brokers Forum members Iliana Abella of Greater Miami Investments and Hazel Goldman, of Hazel’s Homes, part of RE/MAX Advance Realty.

“There are more spec homes in Pinecrest than we’ve seen in years,” Goldman told TRD. “It definitely shows [the market] is back.”