Russian mogul wants to split Hibiscus Island lot, build two spec homes

Developer Ilya Karpov and a partner paid $12M for the site last year

Mar.March 11, 2019 02:30 PM

Ilya Karpov and 320 S. Hibiscus Drive (Credit: LinkedIn)

Ilya Karpov, a former director and stakeholder in a defunct Russian agricultural firm, is the buyer who paid $11.6 million last year for the largest lot on Miami Beach’s Hibiscus Island.

Karpov wants to subdivide the 31,500-square-foot property at 320 South Hibiscus Drive and build a pair of two-story spec houses on the site. He has asked the Miami Beach Planning Board for a variance to build the homes, which are slightly taller and denser than what the zoning code allows. His hearing is set for March 26.

Mount Sinai Medical Center sold the property in September to an entity controlled by broker Daniel Tzinker. But an affidavit filed with the project’s planning application names Karpov as the owner. When reached by phone, Karpov said that Tzinker is representing a partner, whom Karpov declined to name.

“It’s two partners, doing two houses, and we’ll sell them both,” Karpov said. He is handling development while he and his partner have split the equity. The two do not have a construction loan.

Karpov was general director at the OGO Group, a now-dissolved conglomerate that was once one of Russia’s largest grain-producers, according to a World Bank report from 2006. Karpov, 47, said that he started working there as a broker at the age of 21 and climbed the ranks, eventually acquiring shares in the company. He sold his stake in the firm 10 years ago and moved to Miami Beach five years later.

He expects to deliver the houses in two years and said that $2,500 per foot is a good rate for the area. At a combined 12,700 square feet, that would put a price tag of nearly $32 million on the two houses — a large return, even discounting the fees for luxury architect Ralph Choeff, who is designing the project.

“The price for this lot was good,” he said. “We started negotiating with Mount Sinai probably 12 months ago. The first time I was there was February [2018], even before they came to the market. Natalia [Gryczynska] and Ale [Diaz-Bazan] — they found it,” he said, referring to his Douglas Elliman brokers.

“Hibiscus has perfect views, south exposures,” Karpov said. “I think that’s what people want.”

Karpov has been involved in real estate in South Florida since at least 2007, when he bought a house at 19 Palm Avenue on Palm Island in Miami Beach for $4.5 million at the top of the market. He sold it seven years later for $6.5 million.

He said he enjoys the work and the area. “I was married here,” he added.

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