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Internet billionaire sells what is now the priciest residence ever in Florida; here are 10 things to know


Billionaire Jim Clark bought this massive estate, foreground, last year for a recorded $94.17 million on the south end of Manalapan near Palm Beach. The property recently changed hands for $173 million, making it the most expensive residential sale in Florida.

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An estate just south of Palm Beach has sold for $173 million, setting a record for the most expensive residential property ever to change hands in Florida.

A company controlled by software billionaire Larry Ellison of Oracle bought the ocean-to-lake estate at 2000 S. Ocean Blvd. in Manalapan from an trust linked to Netscape co-founder Jim Clark, according to the deed recorded Wednesday

More: Billionaire Larry Ellison, among world’s richest people, bought Florida estate for $173 million

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Manalapan has seen a higher-than-average number of sales topping $20 million since the coronavirus pandemic sent the South Florida real estate market into overdrive. As the supply of waterfront estates in Palm Beach has dwindled, buyers have increasingly looked south to Manalapan and its ocean-to-lake properties, boosting values there.

Recent sales include $40 million for vacant lot; an $89.93 million sale that was the second highest in Manalapan; and a mansion that listed with in-construction price of $79.5 million.

Clark, a billionaire, bought the estate at 2000 S. Ocean Blvd. and part of nearby Bird Island in February 2021 for a combined price recorded at $94.37 million from the Ziff family, although sources familiar with the transaction said more than $100 million actually changed hands in that deal, the Daily News has reported.

Based on previous sales listings, here are 10 things to know about the most expensive residential property ever sold in the Sunshine State.

Amazing views

The estate is atop a dune, offering 360-degree views. The residence and guesthouses feature open-air loggias, terraces, balconies and French doors to capture views of the Atlantic Ocean, Lake Worth Lagoon and surrounding areas, and accommodate an indoor-outdoor lifestyle.

What is the name of the estate?

The estate’s name, Gemini, is derived from the main house’s configuration on both sides of South Ocean Boulevard.

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This home has access to the beach and ocean

The 15.65-acre ocean-to-lake estate is divided by South Ocean Boulevard and has 1,200 feet of beach along the Atlantic and 1,300 feet of frontage on the Lake Worth Lagoon. A slice of an island immediately west of the estate in the Intracoastal Waterway, brings the total acreage to 22.44 acres,

How many bedrooms and bathrooms does this estate have?

The multiple buildings on the property offer nearly 85,000 square feet of living space, inside and out, with 33 bedrooms, 34 bathrooms and 13 powder rooms.

What’s the main house like?

The 12-bedroom main residence has 62,200 square feet of living space, including a basement, which measures about 17,950 square feet. The interior features abundant stone, rich wood millwork, a grand staircase and expansive wall space that displayed the Ziff family’s notable art collection. Ceilings have coffers, exposed beams and abundant pecky-cypress details. The layout includes formal and informal living and dining areas, a media room, libraries, offices, a wine cellar and two elevators.

Is there a guest house?

Other living spaces are two four-bedroom beachside cottages; a seven-bedroom guest house; and a guest or staff house comprising four studios and apartments.

What other details do we know about the estate?

The two sections of the main house — one facing the lake and the other, the ocean — are linked by a series of tunnels beneath the street. A 15-foot-wide tunnel serves as an art gallery.

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The property features extensive botanical gardens that showcase nearly 1,500 tropical species — and it has a bird sanctuary and a butterfly garden.

Is there a pool?

Recreational amenities include a PGA-standard golf practice area, a regulation tennis court, a half basketball court, a freshwater pond, an 18-hole miniature golf course, a boat dock, and a pool.

Who designed the home?

The original home was designed by architect Marion Sims Wyeth and built in the 1940s for the Lambert Pharmaceutical family.

When was the house built and when was it redesigned?

The total transformation of the property, commissioned by the Ziff family and completed in 2002, included the reconstruction of the residence in a design by noted Palm Beach architect Edson E. Dailey

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Daily News: 33 bedrooms, and 9 other things to know about the most expensive residence ever sold in Florida



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