When it comes to mega-mansions, this 33-bedroom Florida compound on a private barrier island is pretty hard to beat. Sitting just south of Palm Beach in Manalapan, it’s listed for $195 million, making it the second-most expensive home for sale in the United States right now.
(First place goes to the infamous Playboy Mansion, which is on the market for $200 million as of last month.)
The 16-acre estate, named Gemini, is the property of the billionaire family of deceased publisher William B. Ziff, Jr. Ziff passed away in 2006. He had developed a hugely successful empire of tech-focused magazines, including titles like Car and Driver and PC Magazine. The family sold the publishing arm of Ziff-Davis for $1.4 billion in 1994, the New York Times reported.
The massive, lush property is decked out with all of the perks that you’d expect for the astronomical price tag. It’s bordered on both sides by private beaches and its own pier. On top of that, there’s a golf course, pool, tennis court, and basketball court.
Gemini is listed with Carmen D’Angelo, Jr., Joseph Liguori, and Gerard Liguori of Premier Estate Properties.
Gemini spans the width of a barrier island in Manalapan, just south of Palm Beach. That means it has private waterfront access on both the ocean and river sides -- not to mention plenty of green space.
The property includes a 12-bedroom main home, as well as a seven-bedroom guest house, two 'ocean cottages', a manager's house and office, and a tree house. It makes for a grand total of 84,988 square feet of interior space.
A PGA-standard golf practice area means you never have to leave the private island to work on your drive. You'll also find a freshwater pond, bird sanctuary, and 'sports complex' with tennis, basketball, mini golf, and playground setups. To top it off, there's a butterfly garden complete with model train, and a fully-furnished underground tunnel connecting different parts of the compound.
The main house is the centrepiece of the compound, encompassing 62,000 square feet. It boasts a 'museum-quality' climate-control system, top-notch security system, cell phone signal booster, and not one, but two elevators.
The look is 'tropical Florida', with lots of dark woods, natural coral, shell-stone, marble, and other fossil stones incorporated in the design.
In case the property were to get cut off from the mainland, it's fully equipped to function independently, with generators and propane supplies all set up if needed.
Originally built in the 1940s, the estate has been home to a string of elite owners, including heiress Gloria Guinness.
The Ziff family has owned the compound since 1985, according to public records. In 2002, it was fully remodeled and updated.
Lush landscaping surround the pool area -- but if you are in the mood for a beach, there's 1,200 feet of it just steps away.
There's a tennis court on site, but in case you need a full country club experience, residents of Manalapan are deeded into access to the nearby Eau Palm Beach resort.
The property has been on the market since April, although its listing has just become public. Previously, the most expensive Florida home has been a $159 million Hillsboro Beach estate called Le Palais Royal.
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