Miami Beach: A Lot Like London

“You can’t compare Miami Beach to any other city in Florida,” says Tara West, Managing Partner of Miami’s premiere luxury real estate firm, Park Miami Realty. Outside of Florida, however?

“It’s much like London,” she says, speaking to the incredible international pull of her adopted home city. Global flair is great, but Miami bests London on two fronts: “The weather is superb, and it’s not as expensive, by far.”

She would know.

A stint selling high-end villas in Greece led her to relationships with developers from the UK to Croatia – relationships that she has introduced to Miami’s lush international market.

“People are traveling here from all over the world,” she says. “It’s an international destination.”

Luxurious spreads serve as second, third, and fourth homes to her global clientele, though finding that perfect primary perch is just as much her specialty. High-end, luxury-style homes are in exceptional demand, and West is attacking the market head-on.

Hailing from the suburbs of Washington, DC and educated at American University, West did her time in the halls of the Senate and the shadows of K Street, serving as VP for one of the country’s top PR firms.
“My son was 3, my hours were insane. I was driving home at midnight, and it was ridiculous.” Burnt out and discouraged, she looked to the sunshine of Miami to rescue her life – and sanity.

Since moving south, West has come to dominate the luxury residential real estate market in Miami, Miami Beach and Boca Raton. She credits her drive to exceed her clients’ expectations for her extensive success in the exclusive field of high-end properties.

“You either love it, or you think of it as a chore,” West says of her career. “I really, sincerely love selling real state every day.  I look forward to working with my clients, many of whom have become good friends.”

To contact Tara, call 305-926-8223.

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 4/10/2013 at 1:15 PM
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Categories: duPont Marketplace | Featured Realtors
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2020 Alton Road in Miami Beach, Florida

The First Platinum LEED Certified “Dream Green Home” is being built in Miami Beach and helping to build the city's Green image. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environment Design and is an internationally recognized building certification system that strictly adheres to a set of environmentally friendly standards. Platinum LEED is the highest rating.

Under construction at 2020 Alton Road and within walking distance of South Beach, the home will be the first to house its own wind turbine to generate electricity, taking it off-the-grid as much as possible. That means lower electric bills saving money in the long run .  The home will also have a water recycling system making it less dependent on city water and a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Currently there are no LEED homes in Miami Beach and believed to be only two platinum certified homes in the entire state. About fifty nationwide.

Other green features of this five-bedroom, five-bath house include solar panels and special foam insulation keeping the home cool and dry in the summer, landscaping using native plants, low wattage lighting systems, a/c system with fresh air cycling, Energy Star rated appliances and motion sensors for bathroom lighting and ventilation.  Everything possible is being built from recycled products including concrete, wood and glass. 

Interested buyers can visit or contact Tara West of Park Miami Realty at 305-926-8223 for more information.

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 2/28/2013 at 1:10 PM
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Categories: duPont Marketplace | Luxury Real Estate
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Insider's Exchange: Miami Beach to Palm Beach, Florida

When a Russian couple recently fell in love with a $3.35 million home in Ft. Lauderdale's Las Olas Isles, Ben Giordano's real estate team from Giordano Group, Inc. was uniquely suited to handle the transaction.

Two members of his six-person team speak Russian.

The six bedroom, six bath home on a deep canal on Nurmi Isles -- a short boat ride from the Intracoastal -- is just a few minute drive from both downtown and the beach. "You could walk," Giordano says with a smile, "but at this price level buyers seldom do."

"My team and I made them comfortable from the get go," he says. "Not only are they foreigners, they're unfamiliar with transactions here -- my job is to make them feel secure. At the end, they were very grateful and very satisfied."

Had the clients spoken Spanish, French, Italian, or Arabic, Giordano's team would have made them feel equally at home. An international edge, you might say, is his niche.

That and luxury waterfront property along the Florida coastline from Miami Beach to Palm Beach. "It was obvious to me that I'd specialize in waterfront," he says. The Tunisian born luxury agent grew up wind surfing, spear fishing, and boating in the Mediterranean, though he's called Florida home since 1990.

Affiliated with real estate powerhouse Re/Max, with offices in 86 countries to help him hone his international reach, Giordano goes well beyond the standard services agents usual provide, combining a steely code of ethics with exceptional attention.

"I work with a select number of clients," he says, "And they are my top priority, treated with utmost courtesy and respect."

With a background in construction, as well as a masters in real estate, he helps buyers find decorators and contractors, even offering concierge services for the particular needs of his rarified clientele.

"Many of my clients aren't here all of the time," he says. So the menu might include "checking the property, minor repairs, cleaning up before they arrive, fresh flowers, groceries, whatever they need.

"My approach with my team is no nonsense," he says. "We roll up our sleeves and get the job done for our buyers and sellers."

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 2/26/2013 at 1:06 PM
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Contemporary Perfection in Miami Beach, Florida

What happens when a sleek town home meets a 5-star luxury hotel? Contemporary perfection, it seems.

The unit combines flawless design with outstanding views of the ocean, making you feel like you're on top of the world,” says Jill Hertzberg, of The Jills®, the renowned Miami-based real estate duo. She notes it is the only oceanfront townhouse in the Setai located in the heart of Miami Beach.

The four-bedroom, four-and-one-half-bathroom exclusive bi-level townhome at Miami’s luxurious Setai Hotel soars high above the Atlantic Ocean and the beach below. Its panoramic views are showcased in nearly every room, making for breathtaking scenery indoors and out.

“This property is like living in a spectacular work of art with 18-foot ceilings which offers comfortable living and exquisite ocean views,” says Jill Eber, Hertzberg’s partner.

Crisp white interiors and sheets of glass work in harmony to create a sophisticated and airy living space. Attention to detail in design and upgrades is what truly makes this property as unique as a piece of art.

White lacquer cabinetry provides sleek storage and melds seamlessly with the custom lacquer staircase that showcases a unique open-weave geometric pattern. The great room opens onto a private terrace perfect for soaking in the Miami sunshine.

With an ensuite master bedroom on each level, the upgrades continue. Direct views of   the Atlantic Ocean and beautiful views of the Miami skyline greet you in these expansive private rooms. Continue through sliding translucent doors to the fully equipped bathrooms with their Calacatta Zebrino marble flooring, recessed lighting, grandiose tubs and rain showers, all for a Zen-worthy experience.

Two additional rooms and bathrooms continue the contemporary oasis feeling, with open concept design, floor-to-ceiling windows, and even an artistic pearlescent mosaic in one of the bathrooms.

The crowning jewel of this property lies in the fact that it is perched above the Setai. With its magnificent Asian-inspired lobby, 24-hour concierge, three swimming pools, in-home dining services, and a fully-staffed fitness center and spa, it is a hotel that is luxurious in every aspect.

Whether you are looking for a property that is quintessentially Miami, or a private retreat with well-appointed conveniences, this town home in the sky is a treat for the senses.

For more information, contact The Jills at 305-915-2556 or 305-788-5455.

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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 2/1/2013 at 7:49 AM
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The Most Expensive Celebrity Homes for Sale

It's one thing to be extraordinarily rich and own a $10+ million home—people may wonder who lives in your gorgeous mansion, but most wouldn't recognize a CEO of a Fortune 500 company if a hardworking exec was right in front of them. It's another thing to have a home like that, and be famous, where your face is constantly on the silver screen, on TV during a big game, or on a stage serenading 50,000+ fans. Celebrities may try to live private lives, but it makes it hard when cities provide bus tours escorting curious lookers to catch a glimpse of a celebrity home (and maybe even the celebrity). Perhaps the lack of privacy is why these celebrities are selling their gorgeous estates...

Owners: Goldie Hawn & Kurt Russell

Location: Broad Bench Road, Malibu, California

List Price: $9.95 million

See the listing here.

Owner: Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson

Location: Farmington, Connecticut

List Price: $10 million

See the listing here.

Former Owner: Frank Sinatra (rented in the 1950s)

Location: Farralone, Chatsworth, California

List Price: $12 million

Owner: Mark Wahlberg

Location: Oak Pass, Beverly Hills, California

List Price: $13 million

Former Owner: Elvis Presley (lived here in the late 1960s)

Location: North Hillcrest Road, Beverly Hills, California

List Price: $13 million

Owner: Christina Aguilera

Location: Doheny Road, Beverly Hills, California

List Price: $13.5 million

Owner: Anjelica Huston

Location: Windward Avenue, Venice Beach, California

List Price: $13.9 million

Owner: Jim Carrey

Location: Malibu Colony Road, Malibu, California

List Price: $13.95 million

Owner: Zsa Zsa Gabor

Location: Bel Air Road, Los Angeles, California

List Price: $14.9 million

Owner: Wayne Gretzky

Location: Newbern Court, Thousand Oaks, California

List Price: $15 million

Owners: Jack Nicholson and director Lou Adler

Location: West End, Aspen, Colorado

List Price: $15 million

Owner: Sheryl Crow

Location: North Vista Street, Los Angeles, California

List Price: $15.95 million

Owner: Pharrell Williams

Location: Bristol Tower Penthouse, Miami Beach, Florida

List Price: $16.8 million

Owners: Kelsey and Camille Grammer

Location: Serra Retreat, Malibu, California

List Price: $16.9 million

See the listing here.

Owners: Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz

Location: Crosby Street Penthouse, New York, New York

List Price: $17.95 million

Owner: Vidal Sassoon

Location: Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, California

List Price: $18 million

Owner: Rosie O'Donnell

Location: Star Island Drive, Miami Beach, Florida

List Price: $19.5 million

Owner: Pete Sampras

Location: West Stafford Road, Thousand Oaks, California

List Price: $19.95 million

See the listing here.

Owner: Leonardo DiCaprio

Location: Malibu Colony Road, Malibu, California

List Price: $23 million

Owner: Madonna

Location: Harperley Hall (apartment), New York, New York

List Price: $23.5 million

Owner: Michael Jordan

Location: Point Lane, Highland Park, Illinois

List Price: $29 million

Owner: Celine Dion

Location: Ile Gagnon, Laval, Quebec, Canada

List Price: $29.7 million

Owner: Robin Williams

Location: Villa Sorriso, Napa, California

List Price: $29.9 million

Former Owner: Katharine Hepburn (owned in the 1930s and 1940s)

Location: Hepburn Compound, Old Saybrook, Connecticut

List Price: $30 million

Owner: Annie Leibovitz

Location: Greenwich Street, New York, New York

List Price: $33 million

Owner: Joe Montana

Location: Villa Montana, Calistoga, California

List Price: $35 million

See the listing here.

Owner: Alex Rodriguez

Location: North Bay Road, Miami Beach, Florida

List Price: $38 million

Former Owner: Gianni Versace

Location: Casa Casuarina, Miami Beach, California

List Price: $100 million

See the listing here.

[All photos and information via Forbes]

Top 10 Master Suites

The master suite is your private sanctuary,  a place to unwind, relax and re-energize your mind and body.  This is an area where you can read, watch your favorite show or movie on television, listen to music,  have casual conversation, enjoy a fantastic view and  definitely a place for some peaceful shut eye. The surroundings in your master suite reflect what makes you comfortable whether the design is modern, traditional, classic, custom design or eclectic.  We have selected the top master suites for  this month for your review below.  Take a deep breath and enjoy!  

Miami Beach, Florida •

Fort Lauderdale, Florida •

Lake Tahoe, Nevada •

Corona, California •

Laguna Hills, California •

Fort Lauderdale, Florida •

Park City, Utah •

Barefoot Beach, Florida •

Boca Raton, Florida • 305-351-5830

Jackson Hole, Wyoming •

17th Anniversary Top 10: Views & Vistas

Ondine, Vermont |

South West Florida |

Palm Springs, California |

Emerald Bay Exuma, Bahamas |

Banner Elk, North Carolina |

Naples, Florida |

Lake Burton, Georgia |

Kent Woodlands, California |

Miami Beach, Florida |

Bozeman, Montana |

Want to see more Top 10s? View our 17th Anniversary issue here!

17th Anniversary Top 10: Outdoor Living Areas

Ondine, Vermont |

Rancho Mirage, California |

Rancho Mirage, California |

Naples, Florida |

Phoenix, Arizona |

Miami Beach, Florida |

Fort Lauderdale, Florida |

Cape Cod, Massachusetts |

Bozeman, Montana |

Las Vegas, Nevada |

Want to see more Top 10s? Click here to view our 17th Anniversary digital issue!

17th Anniversary Top 10: Dream Kitchens

Las Vegas, Nevada |

Rancho Mirage, California |

Palm Springs, California |

Indian Harbour Beach, Florida |

Muscle Shoals, Alabama |

Charlotte, North Carolina |

Malibu, California |

Miami Beach, Florida |

Fort Lauderdale, Florida |

Bozeman, Montana |

Get our 17th Anniversary issue here!

17th Anniversary Top 10: Entertainment Rooms

Canyon Lake, California |

Fort Washington, Pennsylvania |

Charlotte, North Carolina |

Coronado, California |

Gold Coast, Australia |

Miami Beach, Florida |

Orlando, Florida |

Windermere, Florida |

Las Vegas, Nevada |

Fort Myers, Florida |

Want to read more about these properties? Click here to view our 17th Anniversary Issue online!

17th Anniversary Top 10: Dining Rooms

Fort Washington, PA |

Bethel, New York |

Rincon, Puerto Rico |

Miami Beach, Florida |

Bozeman, Montana |

Bozeman, MT |

Livingston, MT |

Parker, CO |

Altanta, GA |

Highlands, NC |

The Top 10 Pools

Almost every luxurious estate includes a pool area that complements the home, whether it be located inside or outside or both.  Pools come in many  exquisite designs – lap pool, classic, free form, infinity,  as well as many other choices that are available.  The pool area offers relaxation,  as you take in the sun , exercise and  quite often a place for entertaining your guests.   We have selected some of what we feel are the top pool areas to give you some ideas for creating your own exclusive pool area.

Miami Beach, Florida • Sildy Cervera, Cervera Real Estate •

Highlands, North Carolina • Terry Potts, Country Club Estates •

Miami, Florida • The Jills, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate •

Las Vegas, Nevada • Tanya Murray, Realty Executives •

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida • Julie Jones, Premier Estate Properties •

Bethel, New York • Christine Sweetman, The Chapin Estate Sales Office • 845-583-4900

Paradise Island, Bahamas • Natasha Vythoulkas, Coldwell Banker Lightbourn Realty • 242-393-8630

Ocala, Florida • Joan Pletcher •

Cape Cod, Massachusetts • Jack Cotton, Sotheby's International Realty •

Las Vegas, Nevada • Sherri Warf, Simply Vegas •

Ocean House Condominiums, Miami Beach


Luxurious Ocean House
By Camille Rabbat

Located in Miami’s popular “South of Fifth” neighborhood (SoFi), Ocean House Condominiums is a boutique, courtyard-style development that occupies one of Miami’s most prime and pristine waterfront settings. Sildy Cervera, a proud South Beach resident, General Manager and Director of Sales for Cervera Real Estate (South Beach), remarks that “Ocean House offers a sophisticated level of luxury and style while maintaining a great balance between the peaceful daytime atmosphere and the exciting, energetic nightlife Miami is known for.” The Caribbean-like climate “quickly draws you toward the beach,” Sildy adds.  “You can enjoy the white sand, the cool and clear Florida water, along with a countless number of outdoor activities and other happenings the Miami area has to offer.”

Ocean House also offers its residents an array of amenities—a spectacular pool, Jacuzzi, state-of-the-art gym, and tranquil spa—along with sunset yoga classes, a convenient hair salon, and a gourmet outdoor kitchen. Residents also enjoy exceptional beachside and concierge services. Golf courses and Miami’s world-famous cultural, dining, shopping and nightlife choices are close at hand as well. These diverse offerings, matched with South Beach’s vibrant location, make Ocean House a hub that attracts people of all ages and walks of life. 

The SoFi district of Miami has been ranked among the five most desirable areas in the United States. With area sales of ocean-front properties increasing 20 percent, Sildy is pleased to report that Cervera Real Estate had an excellent year in 2011. The area also has seen a boom in business start-ups, along with career opportunities for business professionals.

Sildy sums it up neatly by saying that Ocean House and South of Fifth, coupled together, make this location “without a doubt, the place to be!”

The International Allure of Miami

Miami is an incredibly beautiful city known throughout the world for its commerce, cultural diversity, music, and arts. South Florida’s central business district is located in Miami, emitting a profusion of lights over neighboring South Beach. With its sun kissed sand, art-deco hotels, and exhilarating night scene, South Beach poses as the face of Miami’s international allure. Latin beats, Jazz, and subtle down tempo music fill the streets from Lincoln Road to 1st street. A flourishing art scene functions not only to inscribe a sense of aesthetic wonder but also brings people together, generating a network of artists, enthusiasts, and connoisseurs. And of course the beach, with its endless stretch of golden sand meeting the blue and emerald Atlantic, sets the stage for all of these developing activities taking place in this culturally diverse milieu.


Lincoln Road:

Let’s begin our tour of South Florida with a stroll along Lincoln Road, replete with street performers, outdoor dining, shopping, restaurants and an eclectic mix of Miami natives and out-of-towners. Running north and south, Ocean Drive features side-by-side Art Deco architecture, exemplifying the ambiance we’ve come to recognize as distinctly “Miami.” South of 5th street, the South Beach scene heats up-hotels and beautiful lofts are situated within walking distance of fine dining as well as swanky lounges, bars, and clubs.

Developments in South Beach and the surrounding Miami area signal the area’s growing, changing, trend-setting and culturally vibrant character. Diane Lieberman of South Beach Investment Realty emphasizes the value of Miami’s creative influences, including the Art Basel exhibition, the MoCA museum, and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The Design District’s Wynwood Art Walk offers monthly opportunities to gallery hop while imbibing cocktails in the company of other connoisseurs and enthusiasts.

Diane also credits Miami’s New World Symphony, a first-rate orchestra that provides free Wallcast concerts to park-goers. By synthesizing its ever-changing natural beauty, arts, and entertainment venues, South Beach has successfully marketed itself as not only a great place to live, but also as an oasis where influxes of new buyers are thriving and enriching the local scene.


Miami Ocean House:  

Established in 1896, Miami is best known for its 15 miles of fabled beaches, beautiful people, and year-round sunshine. Of course there’s more to its charms than that. The city has a booming art scene, authentic music and food, many vacation apartments, and a variety of historic architectural styles. As Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, managing partner of Cervera Real Estate Services, says, “The biggest perks of living in the area are the weather, the fact that the city is easy to get in and out of, and the multicultural people who live throughout Miami.”

This subtropical city is home to 150 ethnicities who speak more than 60 languages, making up a population of close to 2.5 million people. It’s no wonder this popular destination is so well known for its authentic music and cuisine. According to Alicia, “Someone could go around the world with the variety of cuisine this city has to offer.” All these different cultures add to the color and life of this city, providing a broad world view for residents and tourists alike. Miami has the world’s largest collection of Art Deco architecture. A perfect example is Ocean House, a restoration of the former Walburne Hotel. This condominium is a classic example of Miami modern architecture, influenced by the Art Deco and Streamline Modern periods. The property exterior retains many of the design details of Miami’s Art Deco history, while the interior marvelously blends the past with contemporary touches, including an opulent pool deck, cabanas and full beachfront luxury amenities. 

Alicia’s favorite thing about Ocean House is “how it makes people feel at home while still providing them with a relaxing tranquil place to get away.” She adds that “it’s neatly nestled in a friendly, pedestrian neighborhood that’s literally four blocks away from Ocean Drive.” Today, the property exudes the charm and beauty of the old Walburne Hotel, while eclipsing it as the ultimate South of Fifth oceanfront residential address. A multi-million-dollar historic renovation makes Ocean House a residence like no other, in a place that is the envy of South Florida and far beyond.


Villa Magnolia:

Art isn’t always a painting or a sculpture. A masterpiece can be a home, steeped in unparalleled appointments and furniture. Such is this 12,879 square foot palatial estate, designed like no other. Resplendent and lavish, customization abounds. “Nothing is left untouched,” says Jill Hertzberg of The Jills, one of the listing agents.

“From Lalique faucets to matching-grain Macassar Ebony throughout, the home is filled with exquisite finishes,” adds Jill Eber, Hertzberg’s partner at The Jills.

Villa Magnolia sits on 200 feet of wide waterfront, offering a front-row seat to dazzling sunsets, dripping with breathtaking, fiery hues that blanket the sky. Electric gates open to reveal a majestic neoclassical home towering above verdant foliage, giving the property a dose of South Florida’s tropical ambiance. The rotunda foyer features a soaring 40-foot ceiling, curved marble and a striking two-sided staircase. The rest of the home is as luxurious as the grand foyer.

“This is the finest and most unique home in South Florida,” says Howard Marcus who is co-listing with The Jills. High end details include hand-crafted stone throughout the interior and exterior; specialized European paint finishes; 15-foot coffered ceilings; a third-level rooftop entertainment area and sun terrace; temperature-controlled 850-bottle wine room; a magnificent, large kitchen with a built-in 750-gallon aquarium in the eat-in breakfast area; art-filled living and dining rooms; a media room with a 10-foot screen; and a glass and granite elevator. Two infinity-edge pools, one right off the master suite, and a wide-open waterfront view create an ambiance befitting the South Florida lifestyle.

duPont Marketplace: Palm Beach, Florida

Miami Beach, just a few short minutes from metropolitan Miami, has been a popular resort destination for decades. Both International and Domestic buyers flock to this South Florida gem to enjoy the sunshine, pleasant weather and beautiful ocean.

The diverse culture and exploding arts scene have secured the Miami area as a stable market among buyers looking for homes or investment properties. “Miami Beach didn’t see such a dramatic ‘crash’ as some of the other areas did, it has been and always will be a playground for the international jetsetter.  Our buyers are not only looking for 2nd and 3rd homes, but also for lucrative investment properties,” explains Diane Lieberman, Broker/Owner of South Beach Investment Realty, “The influx of Miami buyers are International, they are coming because of the opportunities available in the market. And above everything else, they come for the beautiful weather, the beaches and the ocean…”

The Miami area’s international draw has made it the ideal home for five-star restaurants, The New World Symphony, The Miami City Ballet, the Opera, The MOCA and the MAM as well as countless nightly cultural activities. Residents looking to relax and take in the year-round sunshine and agreeable climate can relax on Miami Beach’s miles of pristine coastline or participate in unlimited water sports on Biscayne Bay or the glistening Atlantic Ocean. 


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Posted on: 11/4/2011 at 2:07 PM
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