Builder sells his Cocoplum home to Bar Invest CEO for $16M

7K sf home features a glass wine cellar, a glass elevator, and infinity edge lap pool

Bar Invest Group CEO Jacques Barbera and MV Group USA CEO Manny Varas with 440 Costanera Road (Bar Invest Group, MV Group USA)
Bar Invest Group CEO Jacques Barbera and MV Group USA CEO Manny Varas with 440 Costanera Road (Bar Invest Group, MV Group USA)

Bar Invest Group chairman and CEO Jacques Barbera and his wife Jeanne Barbera paid $16 million for a waterfront house in Coral Gables’ Cocoplum community, The Real Deal has learned.

Manny Varas, president and CEO of Miami-based development firm MV Group USA, and his wife, pediatrician Dr. Brianna Varas, sold the 7,000-square-foot modern home at 440 Costanera Road.

Barbera, who founded Miami-based Bar Invest Group in 2001, and his wife sold their 11th floor unit at Apogee at 800 South Point Drive in Miami Beach for $8.4 million in May.

In the off-market deal for the Coral Gables property, the Barberas paid about $2,400 per square foot for the new home, Varas said. It has five bedrooms, eight bathrooms and two half-bathrooms.

Varas bought the property in late 2019 for $3.5 million and tore down the former house. The couple built the first flat roof modern house in Cocoplum that features a glass wine cellar, glass elevator with water views on both sides, a 50-foot infinity lap pool, and a 70-foot dock along a new 130-foot seawall, Varas said.

He and his wife had intended to move into the house, which Varas called a “work of art.”

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“We designed the entire home. We looked at every detail. For instance, there are speakers in the walls and the wine room is temperature controlled,” he said.

They showcased the house to the Barberas and their broker Aurelio Leyva of Leyva International Realty as a model for spec homes that MV Group USA could develop on other Coral Gables lots the company owns, Varas said.

Leyva did not respond to a request for comment.

“They expressed interest and we told their broker we would not consider anything less than $16 million,” Varas said. “They gave us full price.”

The most recent major sale in Cocoplum was the sale of singer Marc Anthony’s former 21,000-square-foot mansion, which traded for $22.4 million, or roughly $12,000 a square foot.

MV Group USA builds custom houses and commercial developments in South Florida. The company built a mansion on Hibiscus Island in Miami Beach that a trust sold to Mexican producer and businessman German Rosete for $6.5 million in February. MV Group USA also renovated a waterfront mansion at 2204 North Bay Road that former hedge fund manager Jim Pulaski sold for $20 million in January.

Barbera’s company, Bar Invest, holds more than 1 million square feet of retail space and 1,500 apartment units in South Florida. In April, the company sold a 192-multifamily complex in Coconut Creek for $46.5 million.