Why Miami players like Oren Alexander and a billionaire Turkish family are flocking to Flamingo Drive
Like many of Miami Beach’s quiet neighborhoods over the years, Flamingo Drive is undergoing a subtle transformation. The signs are easy to spot: a contractor’s banner over one home, a vacant lot where another used to stand.
Behind the manicured lawns and iron gates, some serious wealth is driving Flamingo Drive’s metamorphosis from a modest row of mid-century and pre-war homes to a new-construction hotspot.
Douglas Elliman’s wunderkind Oren Alexander is building himself a sprawling waterfront contemporary estate on the street, spec developer Todd Glaser has a home there, and even Turkey’s richest family — the Koçs — got a piece of the action earlier this year when they picked up a home for $10 million.
Flamingo is a quiet, winding mile-long road that fronts the Indian Creek waterway. It’s a sort of off-shoot from Pine Tree Drive that culminates in a pedestrian bridge near Collins Park on its south end, and a main thoroughfare, West 41st street, to the north.
“You can stand in the middle of the street for an hour and not run into a car,” EWM Senior Vice President Nelson Gonzalez told The Real Deal. “Unfortunately like everything else in Miami Beach, it’s being discovered.”
Gonzalez has owned a waterfront home with his family on the street since 2004. At the time, he was looking for a large yard — a plot in the 20,000-square-foot range — for his three young children. Something that wouldn’t break the bank. He settled on a mid-century Art Deco home measuring under 5,000 square feet with a big back yard for $1.65 million. Compared to similar lots on North Bay Road or Pine Tree Drive, it was a bargain.
But in the past year, a new batch of neighbors have moved in with less modest intentions.
A few blocks north of Gonzalez’s hamlet on Flamingo’s southern end, Douglas Elliman’s Oren Alexander and his brothers Tal and Alon are beginning construction on an extravagant contemporary mansion.
Designed by architect J.W. Jarosz and with 10,000 square feet of interior space, eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms housed in three separate structures, the home promises to be one of the largest Flamingo Drive has ever seen.
Some of its features: motorized floor-to-ceiling glass walls, 12-foot ceilings, two kitchens with a mix of Miele and Gaggenau appliances, an infinity-edge pool, plus a great room measuring more than 1,700 square feet. One of the three structures, which will sit at the head of the driveway, is a two-bedroom apartment for the home’s staff, Alexander told TRD.
His mega-manse is replacing a three-bedroom house at 3541 Flamingo Drive from the 1920s that the Alexander Group, his family’s development company, recently tore down after buying it in 2014 for $3.42 million.
The Alexander family isn’t the only one staking a claim on Flamingo.
Immediately to the south of their property, Turkey’s wealthiest family, the Koçs, made waves earlier this year when they dropped $10.12 million on a pre-war home at 3525 Flamingo Drive. The family, whose wealth is pegged at $8 billion by Turkish media, made its fortune on a wide range of businesses from international trade to energy.
Under their conglermate Koç Holding, the family’s enterprises are responsible for roughly 9 percent of all exports from Turkey, according to a report from Reuters.
The family’s purchase on Flamingo closed in January, the same month patriarch Mustafa Koç died of a heart attack.
All the activity on Flamingo Drive isn’t likely to cool down in the near future, either.
According to information from listing website Realtor.com, four homes have sold on the street so far this year, with another five currently up for grabs.
Gonzalez himself is listing one of them for $4.5 million at 3329 Flamingo Drive, an Italian villa-style home owned by famed Parisian designer Jean-Louis Deniot and his partner on the deal, William R. Holloway. The two are also gearing up to list 2979 Flamingo Drive between $9 million and $10 million this fall after they finish its interior renovations, Gonzalez said.
“You have to be cognizant of the fact that there’s really no land available, and now to tear down any of the existing structures … you have to jump through a lot of hoops with the city of Miami Beach,” said Zeb Jarosz, the Alexander family’s architect who’s been involved with four projects on the street so far. “[Flamingo Road] prices are still considerably much less than North Bay Road. Admittedly, you don’t have the [bay] views. But one can argue the location is more desirable; more accessible.”
Source: The Real Deal