The Weekly Dirt: Billionaires take over luxe Miami real estate 

An analysis of South Florida's top real estate news

Weekly Dirt: Billionaires Take Over Luxe Miami Real Estate
From left: Eric Schmidt, Ken Griffin, and Jeff Bezos (Getty)

The billionaires are hunting for more waterfront real estate in South Florida. 

The continued slowdown in sales, and price adjustments affecting the greater market have little to do with billionaires’ spending habits. They’re buying up portions of entire islands in Miami Beach, or just expanding their properties as they plan larger estates to replace the homes they’ve purchased.

Tech billionaire Eric Schmidt (worth $20B, per Forbes) and his wife Wendy have collected up to seven homes on the Sunset Islands, to the tune of almost $140 million over the past three years, I reported last week. At least five of the houses are on Sunset Island II, the largest of the four man-made and gated islands in Miami Beach, and all are waterfront. Two of those sales closed in September, and they include Craig Robins and Jackie Soffer’s former home. 

Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin bought back a waterfront Star Island lot that’s next to his large assemblage from retired Yankee Alex Rodriguez. Though Griffin, who’s worth more than $35 billion, paid $45.5 million for the property, the true price is not entirely clear. The lot was part of a land swap the two arranged in 2020 when luxury real estate began to take off during the pandemic. Griffin now controls about 6.5 contiguous acres on Star Island. He’s also assembled a massive portfolio of residential land in Palm Beach over the last decade-plus. 

Last but not least, Jeff Bezos, the second richest person in the world, paid $79 million for a 2-acre waterfront (obviously) estate in Indian Creek Village. The home is next to the property he purchased this summer for $68 million. Together, they total 4.6 contiguous acres of land acquired for almost $150 million. 

What we’re thinking about: Will more attention and awareness of alleged fraud across condo and homeowners’ associations push potential buyers away? Send me a note at


Residential: Indian Creek #1 LLC, an entity managed by Brazilian toy company mogul Leo Kryss, sold the 2-acre waterfront mansion at 12 Indian Creek Island Road to Bezos for $79 million. 

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Commercial: The Pérez family’s Related Group and Tony Cho’s Metro 1 sold the Wyn 28 apartment complex at 2819 Northwest First Avenue for $135 million. Berkshire Residential Investments and Bayshore Global Management paid about $544,000 per unit for the mixed-use apartment building, which includes retail and parking. 

— Research by Adam Farence


An oceanfront mansion in Golden Beach is asking $42 million. The nearly 12,000-square-foot, nine-bedroom and 10-and-a-half-bathroom home at 263 Ocean Boulevard hit the market with Nelson Gonzalez of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty. The half-acre property includes a three-story house with a rooftop, two summer kitchens, a guesthouse, pool, spa, cabana and 75 feet of beach frontage.

A thing we’ve learned 

The Trump Organization received a letter of interest from controversial New York real estate investor Adam Hochfelder to purchase Trump National Doral Miami, according to court filings included in the New York civil fraud case. Hochfelder wrote in his letter that he wanted to move forward with a potential $1.5 billion offer for the sprawling golf resort, which is one of Trump’s most valuable properties. 

Elsewhere in Florida 

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis directed the state’s emergency management division to charter flights for Florida residents stranded in Israel and to deliver supplies to Israel. His order came hours after the Biden administration said it would charter flights to bring Americans back, Politico reports
  • At least two possible tornadoes touched down in Florida early Thursday, damaging  homes, cars and businesses in Clearwater Beach, as well as Crystal River. 
  • Climate change is resulting in stronger hurricanes forming much earlier in hurricane season, the Miami Herald reports. Category 4 and 5 storms are occurring about two weeks earlier on Earth than they were four decades ago. That increases the chance for stronger flooding.