An Architect’s Party Palace Hits the Market in Miami Beach for $33 Million

An Architect’s Party Palace Hits the Market in Miami Beach for $33 Million

  • Wall Street Journal
  • 11/30/23

On a December afternoon, architect Chad Oppenheim served drinks to about 100 guests on the stone motor court of his roughly 8,000-square-foot home in Miami Beach, Fla. Partygoers faced a 23-foot-tall covered courtyard entry, shrouded in a large curtain. Drums began to beat. 

When the curtains opened, the guests passed through the courtyard into a darkened living and dining room filled with candles. They pulled back a second curtain to reveal an opera singer gliding toward them in a gondola on Biscayne Bay. Stepping out of the boat, she serenaded them. 

The event, a fundraiser for the Wolfsonian-FIU museum in Miami Beach, was one of many bashes Oppenheim has thrown at the house. The property has hosted parties for a Netflix documentary release and brands like Audi and Ferrari, and served as a set in the 2006 movie “Miami Vice.” When it rained during his daughter’s 3rd birthday party, Oppenheim said, he brought the bouncy house inside the open-plan living and dining room, along with real ponies dressed up as unicorns with pink and blue manes, he said.

But for all the fun Oppenheim has had in the home, he said he is itching for a new project, and has decided to list the Tropical Modern-style waterfront home for $33 million.

The six-bedroom home in the Sunset Islands has 80 feet of waterfront on Biscayne Bay, said listing agent Oren Alexander of the brokerage Official, who has the listing with his brother and colleague Tal Alexander. Measuring about 0.32 acres, the lot has two docks and a pool with a 25-foot-tall outdoor shower, said Oppenheim.

The roughly 0.32-acre property has a swimming pool.

Karen Fuchs

The coral and limestone house is Oppenheim’s primary home with his wife, Ilona Mattli Oppenheim, and their two children. They bought the lot for $1 million in 2001 and spent about $5 million to build the house, completing it around 2003. Then, during Covid, they spent about $6 million refinishing it with natural materials and soft colors, Oppenheim said. 

A reflecting pool fed by rain water sits outside the home’s entry. Inside, a media room has a hidden door concealed by a bookcase. But Oppenheim said his favorite area of the house is the primary suite’s private travertine terrace, which has another outdoor shower, a soaking tub, a seating area and roughly 75-year-old Bonsai trees.

Oppenheim founded his eponymous architecture practice in 1999 and is known for designing the Miami high-rise Ten Museum Park and a Los Angeles home for “Transformers” director Michael Bay. Oppenheim said he also has homes in Aspen, California and the Bahamas. 

Single-family homes in Miami Beach sold for a median $3 million in the third quarter, up 7.1% from the same time last year, according to Douglas Elliman. A nearby home on the Sunset Islands recently sold for $32 million in cash, according to the developer. The Sunset Islands are in high demand for their location near shopping and restaurants in Sunset Harbor, Alexander said.

Alexander said he expects prices in the area to continue rising this winter, as the Miami area enters its busy season.


You can read the article on Wall Street Journal here.

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