Ransom Everglades to buy La Brisa estate in Coconut Grove

La Brisa Coconut Grove
La Brisa in Coconut Grove

Ransom Everglades School has entered into an agreement to purchase the 6.9-acre La Brisa estate in Coconut Grove, the private school announced on Thursday.

Once the most expensive listing in Miami-Dade, the property at 3551 Main Highway sold for “relatively close to asking price,” listing agent Nelson Gonzalez told The Real Deal. The price was reduced in March to $39.5 million. 

A Ransom spokesperson declined to comment on the sale price, but told TRD that the purchase is for the long term and that the school currently has no plans for it at this point. Ransom’s priority is to revitalize its current campus, she said. The waterfront properties are next to each other.

“The purchase will allow us to improve our facilities, add vital greenspace and continue our long tradition of respecting, protecting and learning from the treasures of Old Florida and Miami’s precious coastal ecosystems,” Ransom’s head of school Penny Townsend said in a press release.

The purchase will bring the 9.8-acre Coconut Grove campus to 16.7 acres.

Ransom said it will close on La Brisa on Tuesday.

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In 2014, the property was listed for $65 million, then chopped to $55 million in July 2015 and taken off the market in October. Gonzalez took the listing over in November at 47.5 million. At the time, he said he was marketing the property as an estate and as a development site, suggesting townhomes or single-family houses.

“We had a bunch of offers in the beginning but the developers couldn’t make the numbers work,” Gonzalez told TRD.

La Brisa, a waterfront, Mediterranean-style, nine-bedroom, 16,500-square-foot estate, was originally built during the 1920s and later restored. The mansion sits atop an ancient coral reef about 23 feet above sea level and has 208 feet of bay frontage. Features include 3,338 square feet of outdoor living space with several balconies and covered porches and a private port that can accommodate a 70-foot yacht.

La Brisa’s history dates back to 1886, when the land was deeded to children’s novelist and conservationist Kirk Munroe. A trust in his name owns the property.

Gonzalez said the school’s current board is “real estate-savvy.”

“[Ransom] has had several opportunities to buy this property and for unforseen reasons, they had not pulled the trigger,” he said. “They want to expand. This is their goal for the next 100 years.”