The owners of a vacant lot in Miami Beach where Colombian drug dealer Pablo Escobar once owned a house have cut their asking price for the land again.
The 30,000-square-foot lot drew plenty of attention in 2016 when the owners demolished the pink 7,336-square-foot house that Escobar owned and found two safes there, one of which was later stolen.
But the lot remains unsold despite the publicity generated by the discovery of the safes and the notoriety of Escobar, whom Colombian authorities shot and killed in 1993.
Christian de Berdouare, founder of the Chicken Kitchen fast-food chain, and his wife Jennifer Valoppi, a former news anchor at South Florida television station WTVJ, reduced their asking price for the lot to $15.9 million.
A year ago, the couple was asking $17.9 million for the waterfront lot at 5860 North Bay Road in Miami Beach. They first listed the land for sale in 2015 with a $21 million asking price.
Escobar was known for hiding cash and valuables in the walls and under the floors of his houses. De Berdouare told Realtor.com that professional treasure hunters have detected subterranean “activity” under a 100-year-old banyan tree and elsewhere on the lot on North Bay Road.
A company called Lincoln Square Productions signed a contract with de Berdouare to produce a documentary film of the lot, which Escobar bought in 1980 with the now-demolished house for $762,500.
Escobar owned it until 1987, when the U.S. government seized the Miami Beach property and other Florida properties. In 1990, the government sold the property for $915,000 to an attorney, who sold it to de Berdouare for $9.65 million in 2014.
The Chicken Kitchen founder told Realtor.com the value of the property isn’t its potential for buried treasure but its 160 feet of waterfront with views of Miami’s downtown skyline across Biscayne Bay.
A buyer would get the safe that wasn’t stolen,which de Berdouare and Valoppi never have opened, but not the safe’s contents, which the couple plans to keep. [Realtor.com] – Mike Seemuth