Developer Steve Witkoff revealed as buyer of Sunset Islands home

Witkoff said earlier this year he “can’t” build in Manhattan until costs come down

Steve Witkoff and the property at 2805 Lake Avenue
Steve Witkoff and the property at 2805 Lake Avenue

New York developer Steve Witkoff is the buyer of a waterfront Miami Beach home that sold this summer for $10 million, property records show.

Witkoff signed a $6.5 million mortgage for the property at 2805 Lake Avenue. First Republic Bank is the lender.

Rex IV LLC, a Delaware limited liability company that is controlled by Witkoff, closed on the property in June. Martin and Gladys Gelb sold the six-bedroom, 5,646-square-foot home, which is on Sunset Island I. Martin Gelb is a financial adviser with The Gelb Group of Raymond James.

Earlier this year, Witkoff, founder of the New York-based real estate firm Witkoff Group, said he would wait to build again in Manhattan until land and construction costs come down. Witkoff said he “can’t do anything in this town today” development-wise and that he will build elsewhere until costs fall. He’s overseeing projects in Florida and a $3 billion resort complex in Las Vegas.

Witkoff could not immediately be reached for comment.

His Miami Beach property is likely a teardown. The house, built in 1945, sits on a 20,522-square-foot lot with 167 feet of water frontage, according to the listing.

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Witkoff wouldn’t be the first New York developer to buy a home in Miami Beach following the December 2017 federal tax overhaul. The changes limit the ability of taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes — dubbed SALT — from their annual income.

Ultra-wealthy residents in high-tax states like California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois can take the savings from living in Florida – which does not have a personal income tax – and buy a luxury home in Miami.

Barry Sternlicht, Michael Stern, brothers Harrison and Jamie LeFrak and others have purchased homes in Miami Beach.

In South Florida, the Witkoff Group owns the Washington Park Hotel at 1030 Washington Avenue in South Beach, which it redeveloped with Highgate, which manages the 182-room hotel.

About two years ago, Witkoff was in contract to purchase the Weston Town Center for $90 million with plans to transform it into a mixed-use retail project with a potential hotel. It’s unclear if that deal is moving forward.