Used-car magnate buys Fort Lauderdale mansion at auction

It’s the most expensive single-family home sale in Fort Lauderdale in the last 18 months
By Katherine Kallergis | May 13, 2019 08:45AM

Compass's Chad Gray, Katrina Campins of The Campins Company and 534 Bontana Avenue

Compass’s Chad Gray, Katrina Campins of The Campins Company and 534 Bontana Avenue

A major used-car dealer paid $17.36 million at auction for a waterfront Fort Lauderdale mansion, marking the most expensive single-family home sale in the city over the last 18 months, The Real Deal has learned.

James Barnett, an asset manager, sold the 27-room, over 17,000-square-foot estate at 534 Bontona Avenue to Mark and Eileen Fischer of Off Lease Only, said listing agent Katrina Campins of The Campins Company. The deal, set to close on Monday, is more than double 2018’s record $7 million single-family home sale in Fort Lauderdale of 2501 Delmar Place.

Fischer’s Off Lease Only is the largest independent used-car dealership in the U.S. based on volume, according to its website.

The $17.36 million price tag includes the buyer’s premium. Six bidders participated in the auction, which was handled through Concierge Auctions on April 12. Chad Gray of Compass’ Luxury Living Fort Lauderdale Group represented the buyer.

Barnett paid $7.64 million for the property in 2010. He bought it from the late Wayne Huizenga, whose family recently went to auction for his former estate at 1575 Ponce De Leon Drive.

Barnett then knocked down the former home on Bontona Avenue and built a new mansion, putting it on the market for $39 million. The home includes five full bedrooms, six bathrooms and five half-bathrooms, hand-painted ceilings, hand-painted Portuguese wall tiles, an elevator, two fireplaces, a gym, massage room, yoga room, two home offices and a four-car garage.

The property also features a Venetian-style saltwater pool, outdoor kitchen, a 350-foot concrete dock, and room for a tennis court, according to a release.