Mathieu Massa sold the waterfront Sunset Islands home he was renting to the wife of former HFZ Capital Group developer Nir Meir.
Massa, a developer and restaurateur, sold the seven-bedroom, 6,100-square-foot home at 1826 West 23rd Street in Miami Beach for $32 million, or more than $5,200 per square foot. Massa declined to identify the buyer, and the sale has not yet been recorded.
The all-cash deal marks one of the most expensive homes to close this year in Miami Beach and the second highest on the Sunset Islands.
Douglas Elliman’s Dina Goldentayer and Julian Cohen represented Massa. Marko Gojanovic and Reid Heidenry from One Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer. The agents all declined to comment.
Massa paid $5.8 million for the site in 2014 and completed the house in 2017. It had been rented out for more than $1 million annually since then. It hit the market in October for $36 million.
“It was just a question of waiting for the perfect buyer and that’s what happened,” Massa said. “Nothing was really available for sale that was recent construction.”
Massa said he invested about half a million dollars into repairs and renovations after his previous tenants moved out. Meir’s wife, Ranee Bartolacci, rented the home starting in 2021. Massa’s company and Bartolacci were locked in litigation over the course of the lease, until Bartolacci and Meir moved out earlier this year. The couple is in the midst of a contentious divorce.
Cesar Molina of CMA Design Studio designed the home, which includes a wine cellar, an office overlooking a koi pond, and an outdoor entertainment area with a pool, kitchen, bar and dock, according to a press release. (In a lawsuit filed by Massa’s company two years ago, he alleged that Bartolacci violated the lease by making alterations to the house, including changing the fountain to a fish pond.)
Massa will use the proceeds from the sale to acquire another property for a spec home via a 1031 exchange. In such deals, investors can defer capital gains and taxes on sales if they acquire another property within about six months. He is looking at properties on the Venetian Islands, Hibiscus Island, North Bay Road and within the Sunset Islands.
The Sunset Islands, a group of four guarded islands, has seen an uptick in sales, driven by one tech billionaire. In September, developers Craig Robins and Jackie Soffer sold their waterfront mansion at 2511 Lake Avenue on Sunset Island II for $36 million. Billionaire Eric Schmidt, a former chairman and CEO of Google, purchased the property, as well as the adjacent home for $27 million the same week, sources told The Real Deal.
Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, have spent more than $100 million collecting homes on the islands since at least 2020.
Massa’s restaurants and lounges include Marion Miami, El Tucan Miami and Queen Miami Beach. In September, Massa’s firm and Robert Rivani’s Black Lion Investment Group announced they were in contract to acquire Starwood Capital’s former headquarters building in Miami Beach for $82 million.