BET co-founder Robert Johnson buys Palm Beach Gardens mansion for $20M

Seller Mosie Miller, a local developer, bought the 1-acre estate for $10M in 2021 and gut-renovated it

Robert Johnson with 12236 Tillinghast Circle
Robert Johnson with 12236 Tillinghast Circle (Getty, Illustrated Properties)

BET co-founder Robert Johnson dropped $20 million on a newly renovated mansion in Palm Beach Garden’s Old Palm Golf Club.

Records show a Delaware LLC bought the house at 12236 Tillinghast Circle from Myron “Mosie” Miller and his wife, Michelle Miller. Listing agent Vince Marotta of Illustrated Properties confirmed the buyer is Johnson. Blair Kirwan with Brown Harris Stevens brought the buyer. 

Mosie Miller is a local spec developer, and the son of Robert Miller, who owns the Jupiter Pointe Club & Marina. 

Johnson co-founded BET with his then-wife Sheila Johnson in 1979. The couple sold the network to Viacom for $3 billion in 2001, minting their status as America’s first Black billionaires. They fell from billionaire status after their split in 2002. Sheila Johnson went on to establish Salamander Hotels and Resorts, while Robert Johnson remained as CEO of BET until 2006. 

Robert Johnson also bought a majority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats in 2002, making him the first Black majority team owner in a major American sports league, the New York Times reported. He sold his stake in the Bobcats to basketball legend Michael Jordan for $275 million in 2010, according to ESPN. 

Johnson and Jordan are still friends, Marotta said. Johnson wanted to be close to Jordan, who lives in Jupiter’s Bear’s Club, but not too close, leading him to Old Palm Golf Club, according to Marotta. 

The Millers bought the 1-acre Tillinghast Circle home for $10 million in December 2021, records show. Built in 2011, the 13,600-square-foot mansion has five bedrooms, six bathrooms and one half-bathroom, according to property records. 

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Miller commissioned Roger Janssen of Dailley Janssen Architects in West Palm Beach, interior designer Tamara Magel, and Lavelle Construction to do a gut renovation of the home. He listed the mansion for $20 million early on in the renovation process, and Johnson agreed to buy it at that price before the demolition was finished, Marotta said. 

This latest sale comes just shy of Old Palm Golf Club’s price record, which was set in July by the $22.5 million sale of a mansion on a double lot. 

Miller also has a Palm Beach mansion on the market. He is asking $79 million for the oceanfront estate at 149 East Inlet Drive, with Lawrence Moens as the listing agent. He also bought a Palm Beach Gardens mansion for $11 million in August. Miller originally planned to relist that house for $13.9 million, but instead has been renting it out on a short-term basis.

“He gets like $30 grand for a weekend,” Marotta said.

Miller’s latest sale in Old Palm Golf Club is indicative of a northern Palm Beach County’s luxury boom, according to Marotta.

“Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens [are] becoming a really sexy address,” he said. 

Residential brokerages are catching on to the growing luxury market and opening offices accordingly. Compass, the Agency, and Corcoran have all opened Palm Beach Gardens offices in the past year.