Glaser, partners buy non-waterfront La Gorce teardown for $8M

Plans are for a one-story spec home on the property once owned by Tommy Mottola

Todd Michael Glaser and Nelson Gonzalez with 31 La Gorce Circle (Sonya Revell, Nelson Gonzalez)
Todd Michael Glaser and Nelson Gonzalez with 31 La Gorce Circle (Sonya Revell, Nelson Gonzalez)

Developer Todd Glaser and his partners dropped $8.3 million for a non-waterfront teardown on Miami Beach’s La Gorce Island that was once owned by former-Sony Music boss Tommy Mottola.

Glaser confirmed he bought the house at 31 La Gorce Circle with partners Jonathan Fryd and Scott Robins, with plans to demolish the existing 1930’s era home and build a spec house. The partners bought the property from Banyan Properties LLC, a Wyoming company registered to a law firm in the Cowboy State, records show.

It is the fourth sale of the site in two years, during which time its sale price doubled, according to records. It sold for $4.1 million in December of 2020, then $5.4 million in April of 2021 and $5.9 million in July of 2021.

Nelson Gonzalez, with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty, represented both the buyers and the seller in the latest deal.

Glaser, Fryd, and Robins received financing from the property’s previous owner, with an interest rate below 4 percent, Glaser said, which spared them a heftier down payment.

“He didn’t pay much, and he made a lot of money,” Glaser said of the Banyan Properties seller, who bought the property from Mottola last summer.

The trio of investors also benefited from a recent change in Florida state law, which bulldozed Miami Beach protections for pre-1942 houses. Houses in flood zones without historic designation can now be demolished sans approval by local jurisdictions. For Glaser, that’s money in the bank.

“We’re gonna be able to knock it down before we have a set of plans,” said Glaser, estimating that the law saved him about $400,000 by cutting through regulatory red tape.

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Gonzalez marketed the property with Kobi Karp-designed plans for a house, but said Glaser is ditching those plans in favor of a one-story design. Glaser estimated the spec home will sell in the high $19 million range, while Gonzalez said it would sell for “north of $20 million.”

In that price range, the property would be on par with the island’s waterfront homes.

“There was an opportunity there for what I call ‘the unicorn lot,’” Gonzalez said, referring to the property’s large size. At 0.6 acres, it is one of the largest dry lots on La Gorce Island.

Glaser said the luxury market is moving toward non-waterfront properties, and price growth has only just begun.

“If you get a 6,000-square-foot house dry, it’s $9 million, waterfront it’s $20 million,” Glaser said, “That’s where this mentality of this end is going.”

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Among other recent non-waterfront sales on La Gorce Island, A24 film studio co-founder Matthew Bires bought two adjacent non-waterfront homes for $15.9 million in June. Last year, Jessica Goldman Srebnick and her husband, Scott Srebnick, sold their non-waterfront house on for $9.7 million.

On the Sunset Islands, a non-waterfront house sold for $12.5 million in April, setting a new sales record for dry lot homes in Miami Beach.