Tick tock: Former watch retailers sell Allison Island teardown for $18M

Built in 1992, half-acre property includes 170 feet of water frontage

Lior Ben-Shmuel with 6640 Allison Road
Lior Ben-Shmuel with 6640 Allison Road (Lior Ben-Shmuel via Facebook, Google Maps, Getty)

Former watch retailers Shlomi and Lior Ben-Shmuel sold a waterfront teardown mansion on Miami Beach’s Allison Island for $17.6 million.

Records show the brothers sold the house at 6640 Allison Road to a trust named for the address, with Philadelphia-based estate attorney Lester E. Lipschutz signing on behalf of the buyer. The true buyer is unknown.

Shlomi Ben-Shmuel’s wife, Cristina Ben-Shmuel of Rusty Stein & Company, had the listing. Jonathan Bigelman of One Sotheby’s International Realty brought the buyer. Bigelman declined to comment on the identity of the buyer.

The Ben-Shmuel brothers founded Hollywood-based Swiss Watch International, which was acquired by Santa Monica, California-based Clearlake Capital Group in 2012. Swiss Watch shut down in 2017, according to the South Florida Business Journal. 

The brothers bought the Allison Road mansion for $14.5 million in 2021, with plans to renovate the property, which they ultimately did not do.

Built in 1992, the two-story home spans 8,900 square feet, with eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms and one half-bathroom, records show. The property includes 170 feet of water frontage, a dock and a pool. It was advertised as an opportunity to “build your dream house” or renovate the existing mansion.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Bigelman confirmed the buyers intend to tear down the mansion and build a new home on the property, and that they have already contacted architects for the project.

“There’s not going to be a budget,” he said of forthcoming construction.

Bigelman said the buyers, like many South Florida luxury real estate shoppers, spent a year looking for a turnkey home. New construction dominates South Florida’s luxury market, with buyers wanting to move in as soon as possible and avoid the headache of managing construction of a new home.

“If we’re not going to find anything turnkey, we might as well find an awesome property and make it our own,” Bigelman said of their decision to pivot. “It’s a lot to take on. Most people don’t want to take on architects, contractors, permits –– all that jazz.”

Allison Island, a gated waterfront enclave within Miami Beach, has attracted some big name buyers in recent years who arrived with the pandemic-induced influx of wealthy residents to the region. 

In February, rapper Lil Wayne sold his waterfront Allison Island home for $22.6 million. The mansion was listed for $28 million, up from the $17 million the music star paid for it in 2018. Another rapper, Grammy-winner Future bought a waterfront house on Allison Island for $16.3 million in December. That same month, a hedge funder’s wife sold her waterfront home for $13.3 million

Recommended For You