Fisher Island is preparing for the next big wave.
Not a hurricane storm surge, but rather a new generation of sun dwellers who will crash the shores of this private island paradise off Miami Beach when Palazzo del Sol—a lavish, new 10-story condominium—is completed in 2016.
After a seven-year construction hiatus (aside from renovation permits), Fisher Island is again open for business and its final land parcels are ready to beautify. Palazzo del Sol will showcase 47 contemporary luxury condos (ranging from 3,700- to 9,700-square feet) on 4.5 acres of prime land, with unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean, South Beach, Biscayne Bay, and downtown Miami. The condominium is perfectly situated on Government Cut, the channel entrance to Miami’s harbor, where the bay meets the ocean—and where rudders hit the deep water.
The project developer is former Fisher Island resident Heinrich von Hanau, chief executive officer of Fisher Island Holdings, who tasked Miami-based architect Kobi Karp and Swiss landscape designer Enzo Enea to design Palazzo del Sol as a “velvet rope reserve for the next wave of Fisher Island owners which will include private lush grounds and outdoor living spaces and exclusive five-star, white-glove services (private lobby, doormen, salon, massage, dedicated concierges, fur storage, nanny and medical services, customized golf carts, and indoor/outdoor aperitivo bar).” Other Palazzo del Sol designers are Augusto Busnelli, Alison Antrobus and Ruby Ramirez, and Pepe Calderin.
Palazzo del Sol construction began last spring with pre-sales offered to existing Fisher Island residents who are seeking larger living spaces or newer units with modern top-of-the-line European finishes. The condominium will showcase the largest floor plans on Fisher Island to date, particularly outdoor space where many units will average from 1,700- to 12,800-square feet. Building residents will also enjoy a rooftop pool, poolside cabanas, a negative edge heated pool and an Enea-designed outdoor relaxation area already nicknamed “Central Park.”
All residences will be elegant, featuring massive outdoor terraces, private elevators, 10-foot interior ceilings (penthouses will offer 15-foot ceilings), Boffi kitchens and baths, Gaggenau appliances, Dornbracht faucets, Duravit plumbing fixtures, and Lualdi doors. The property will also offer amenities such as a private movie theater, a state-of-the-art fitness center designed by the Wright Fit, a Kidville-designed playroom and even charging stations for electric cars (do limo drivers drive electric cars?).
“Our vision for the final development on Fisher Island harmonizes with the community’s existing Mediterranean-inspired style, while taking into consideration the sensibilities and needs of the new era of buyers coming from the United States, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and the Middle East,” said von Hanau, who, according to the official fact sheet, secured power broker Dora Puig to head sales along with an elite team of brokers internationally renowned for selling Miami’s highest-priced trophy penthouses with private rooftops and single-family estates.
Condos range from $5 million for three-bedroom residences to a $32 million penthouse, according to Curbed. Current plans call for no more than six units per floor, but von Hanau said in a press release that some early buyers purchased multiple units with the intent to combine them into larger residences. According to The Real Deal, $45 million in financing has been secured for Palazzo del Sol, which is reportedly the first of two planned 10-story buildings (13 floors counting the lobby, underground parking and rooftop pool).
Fisher Island is a 216-acre island community that likely offers the most exclusive amenities in southeastern United States—including Fisher Island Club, its recently $66-million renovated five-star resort; acclaimed Spa Internazionale; a P.B. Dye-designed nine-hole oceanside golf course; a world-class tennis center with 18 courts (two grass, two hard court and 14 clay); two deep-water, surge-proof marinas that accommodate vessels up to 250 feet; the restored Vanderbilt Mansion; a private beach club (coincidentally called The Beach Club); and over a mile of pristine white sand beaches. The island enclave is accessible to Miami Beach via yacht or auto ferry in merely seven minutes.
Approximately 675 families live on Fisher Island with 50% representing the United States and the 50% representing over 45 other countries. Less than 30% of residents live on Fisher Island year-round as peak season is typically November 15 through April 15th. On Fisher Island, exclusivity and privacy are as critical as running water, swimming pools, and sunblock. Among those calling Fisher Island home are billionaires, chief executives, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, international dignitaries, celebrities, athletes, entertainers, musicians, models, etc.
While Fisher Island doesn’t reveal information about its residents, media reports have revealed some prominent current or former residents—including media magnate Oprah Winfrey, actress Julia Roberts, former tennis players Andre Agassi and Boris Becker, and erstwhile hockey star Pavel Buré.
Fisher Island was created in 1906 when the U.S. Congress ordered construction of Government Cut, which opened a more accessible shipping lane for commerce between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. This channel across the bay developed the island out of sand, coconut palms and mangroves. Fisher Island is named for Miami Beach developer Carl Fisher, who purchased the land in 1919 and quadrupled the island’s land mass. Now the seemingly last parcel of land up for sale again—this time in a luxurious building named for a sun palace.
But here, where privacy is paramount, you’ll never find out where the Fisher king—or queen—resides… unless you count Oprah’s residency.