The Real Deal Miami

Buena Vista developer buys former Hialeah Park owner’s Bal Harbour estate

Harry Benitah is planning to build a new home on the waterfront property
By Keith Larsen | July 24, 2018 03:30PM

84 Bal Bay Drive

Miami real estate investor and developer Harry Benitah and his wife just paid $5.3 million for a waterfront Bal Harbour home owned by the late John J. Brunetti.

Brunetti, who owned the Hialeah Park racetrack, died in March. His son, John J. Brunetti Jr., sold the four-bedroom, 4,200-square foot home at 84 Bal Bay Drive to Benitah and his wife, Leslie Gelrubin Benitah.

The house, built in 1948, sits on a 20,000-square-foot lot with 100 feet of water frontage. It was Brunetti’s primary residence and has not been updated since the 1970s, according to the agents involved in the deal.

Fabian Garcia-Diaz and Allan Kleer of One Sotheby’s International Realty ‎represented the buyer and the seller. Kleer said the new buyer plans to build a new modern home on the property. It hit the market in December for $6.95 million, according to Redfin.

The Benitahs paid nearly $1,300 per square foot for the waterfront home and $265 per foot for the land.

The couple financed the Bal Harbour purchase with a $2.8 million mortgage from New York-based Interaudi Bank, records show.

Harry Benitah’s projects include the Buena Vista Flats and a 5,000-square-foot building in the Design District at 3620 Northeast Second Avenue. In 2016, the Benitahs sold their Bay Point house to Miami Heat star Goran Dragic for $7.9 million.

Brunetti Sr. purchased the Hialeah Park in 1977 and it later became one of the premier horse racing tracks in South Florida, according to the Miami Herald.

The Bal Harbour home sale is similarly priced to other recent nearby deals, including the CEO of Duty Free Amercas’ purchase of 189 Bay Bal Drive for $5.5 million earlier this year.