Miami's Most Expensive Home Lists for $32.5M

The most expensive existing waterfront home listing in Miami-Dade County is a $32.5 million, 16,000-square-foot mansion on Indian Creek Island, a private community where Supermodel Adriana Lima and her basketball-playing husband Marko Jaric purchased last year.

The price of the resale breaks the record of the $32 million list price steel magnate Leroy Schechter tried to fetch in 2007 on his equally-sized 7-bedroom estate on the island. (Both prices pale to the whopping $60 million list price of a 30,000-square-foot new construction on the island).
Listed at the end of November, the five-bedroom resale (pictured above and below) at 17 Indian Creek Drive has marble floors, a living room with a two-story barrel vaulted ceiling, and a dining room with a white trompe l'oeil lattice painted on pale blue walls. There are two master suites, an exercise room, a four-car garage, and a natural infinity pool that connects the house to Biscayne Bay.

"This property has the most spectacular views of downtown Miami on the island and possibly in all of Miami Beach," says listing agent Mirce Curkoski of Sotheby's International.

So, who are the owners and why are they selling?

The one-owner home, on nearly two acres with more than 250 feet of open bay frontage, belongs to Franklin Resources Chairman Charles Johnson, whose riches from the mutual fund company help to land him at No. 74 on the 2010 Forbes 400 "Richest People in America" list, up from No. 77 last year. Tax records show the ownership of the 2002-built home was switched in December 2003 from his name to the Johnson Family Trust with a mailing address to corporate headquarters in San Mateo, Calif.

It is possible that Johnson and his wife Ann are bailing on this home designed by Palm Beach architect Jeffery W. Smith, in collaboration with interior designer Mario Buatta, due to a disagreement over raised taxes for some of the
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island's 33 residents and the Indian Creek Country Club, which will amount to double the annual club dues for members such as Johnson. (A call to Johnson at his office was not returned).

This summer the Johnsons joined with a handful of other residents, including former Hall of Fame Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula, to sue the village of Indian Creek for passing a tax levy that increased property taxes on the Indian Creek Country Club and four of the island's homes, including the Shula's home, while decreasing it for everyone else, reported the Miami New Times.
Residents overall would save a total of $60,000 in property taxes a year.

There are currently a total of four homes for sale on the island, says Curkoski. Sotheby's also has the listing on 38 Indian Creek for $13.9 million. Of the smaller 18 Indian Creek home he told HousingWatch "most people see [it] as a tear down." There are also two lots for sale.

Some other owners on the island include pro golfer Raymond Floyd, coach Rick Pitino, billionaire investor Carl Icahn, co-founder of Calvin Klein Barry Schwartz, and billionaire developer Donny Soffer.

Given Schechter's failed attempt as well as that of singer Julio Iglesias, who decided to tear down and rebuild after he couldn't unload his 10,000-square-foot home on Indian Creek Island at its $25 million list price, as HousingWatch reported in March, it seems to be an uphill battle selling the island's more expensive property without the added twist of lawsuits, but perhaps Johnson will have better luck. After all, the home is gorgeous.

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