Wackenhut scion pays $15M for Fisher Island penthouse

Seller is daughter of Vector Group Chairman Bennett LeBow

Miami /
Aug.August 07, 2020 11:30 AM
5203 Fisher Island Drive, Pablo Alfaro and Cyril Matz (Credit: Douglas Elliman)

5203 Fisher Island Drive, Pablo Alfaro and Cyril Matz (Credit: Douglas Elliman)

UPDATED, Aug. 8, 4:30 p.m.: An heir to George Wackenhut, founder of his eponymous security firm, paid $15 million for a condo on ritzy Fisher Island.

Property records show FI 5203 LLC, led by Stephanie Don, sold the five-bedroom, 9,570-square-foot penthouse at 5203 Fisher Island Drive to the Janis Wackenhut Revocable Trust.

Wackenhut, daughter of the late George Wackenhut, financed the purchase with a $10 million loan from J.P. Morgan, records show.

The Wackenhut Corp., founded in 1954 in Coral Gables, was acquired by a Danish company in 2002 for $570 million. It became G4S Wackenhut, and then G4S Secure Solutions.

Pablo Alfaro and Cyril Matz of Douglas Elliman represented the buyer and seller. Elliman declined to comment.

The Bayview Fisher Island condo used to belong to Don’s mother, the late Geraldine LeBow, and is tied to her father, Bennett S. LeBow, chairman of Vector Group’s board. Geraldine and Bennett LeBow were married until her death in 2011.

Geraldine LeBow paid $4.25 million for the unit in 1995, purchasing it from the developer, according to property records. Miami-based Vector is the parent company of Douglas Elliman.

The penthouse features its own gym, separate staff apartment, wraparound balcony, library, a swimming pool, five parking spaces, two golf carts and direct elevator access, according to the listing. It hit the market last year for $21 million, meaning it sold at a 29 percent discount off the asking price.

The unit went through a three-year renovation and was designed by Marc-Michaels Interior Design, the listing shows.

Fisher Island has been home to celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Mel Brooks. The exclusive island is ranked as America’s wealthiest ZIP code and can only be reached by ferry, boat or helicopter.

In June, Eastdil Secured founder and Chairman Benjamin Lambert sold his Fisher Island condo for $4.85 million to Joe Dimartini, CEO of Zelis Payments. Matz was involved in that deal as well.

Earlier this year Raul Fernandez, co-owner of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals, sold his unit at 7600 Fisher Island Drive for $5.95 million.

Write to Katherine Kallergis at [email protected]


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