Miami City Ballet benefactors buy Bay Harbor Islands teardown

Sale sets new Bay Harbor Islands price psf record at $2,155

Juan and Ophelia Roca and 10321 E Broadview Drive in Bay Harbor Islands (Facebook/Philanthropy Miami, Michele Tessler Berlowitz)
Juan and Ophelia Roca and 10321 E Broadview Drive in Bay Harbor Islands (Facebook/Philanthropy Miami, Michele Tessler Berlowitz)

Miami City Ballet benefactors Juan and Ophelia Roca bought a waterfront teardown in Bay Harbor Islands for $9.5 million, setting a price-per-square-foot record for the town.

Records show Bella Nath LLC, an Alaska corporation managed by the Rocas, bought the home at 10321 East Broadview Drive from Jay and Joni Meiselman. Michele Tessler Berlowitz of Douglas Elliman represented the sellers, and Lydia Eskenazi with One Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyers.

Jay Meiselman bought the 4,037-square-foot, five-bedroom, five-bathroom house for $625,000 in 2000, records show. Built in 1955, the 0.45-acre estate includes a pool and dockage for a 50-foot boat, according to the listing. Berlowitz said Meiselman, the owner of Jay Construction Company, built an addition on the house that included another bedroom and bathroom.

Berlowitz said the sale to the Rocas set a new per-square-foot price record for Bay Harbor Islands, closing at $2,155-per-square-foot.

“The waterfront will only go up in Bay Harbor. [It] was undervalued for so long,” Berlowitz said.

The Rocas intend to demolish the existing home and build a new one for their personal use, according to Eskenazi.

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The couple are longtime Miami area residents. They bought the mansion at 202 Bal Bay Drive in Bal Harbour in 2002 for $2.8 million, records show. The Rocas are also noted donors in the local arts community. The Ophelia and Juan Js. Roca Center at 2200 Liberty Avenue in Miami Beach houses the Miami City Ballet and Miami City Ballet School.

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Demand for waterfront property across Miami-Dade County surged during the pandemic, when buyers who were stuck at home adopted a more is more mindset. Lockdowns are long over, but the attitude and price increases remain.

Todd Allen Whitman and Karen Whitman, relatives of the late Bal Harbour Shops founder Stanley Whitman, just sold their waterfront home in Miami Beach for $9.5 million. The couple paid $4.9 million for the house in 2017.

Music executive Austin Rosen recently bought his waterfront next door neighbor’s property in Miami Beach for $12.5 million, part of a trend of buyers in the area assembling compounds.

Radio host Tom Joyner sold his oceanfront Golden Beach home for $19 million in late July, up 80 percent from his purchase price in 2015.