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Pretty mansions that rich folk tear down

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We’ve certainly heard tale of multi-million dollar homes purchased by the rich, then torn down so something “really special” can be built; but somehow the reality of it never fails to shock. And this case, involving the palatial beachfront home of Miami Heat President Pat Riley, offers prime example. According to Zillow property records, the 12,856 square foot, 5 bed, 8 bath mansion—including billiard room, state –of-the-art theater, pool with “aqua bar,” wine cellar and general opulence aplenty—sold for $16,750,000 in April of 2012. Yet according to the Miami Herald, the buyer really only wanted the lot itself out of the deal: “ a rare fingertip of prime land, nearly two acres, jutting into the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay.” At the end of last year, the buyer’s attorney filed plans to tear the home down and build “an even grander estate along the 900 linear feet of bayfront.”

The Riley mansion has only hugged that coastline since 1991, but should plans go ahead, will be scrapped and replaced before 2015.

Miami’s luxury market, like San Francisco’s and New York’s, is enjoying quite a rebound now, with attention from both out-of-state and foreign buyers a particularly strong factor in its popularity. The Herald reports that “Prices for the fanciest single-family homes and condominiums have soared to levels never before seen in the area.” And apparently, the land itself is just as valuable as the homes sitting upon it.

Massive mansion demolition

The Riley estate’s demise joins other celebrity mansion demolitions making the news in the recent past. Among them, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s La Jolla beachfront mansion, a $12 million dollar home which the Romneys petitioned for permits to raze and rebuild with a much larger structure (famously planned to include car elevator).

And who could forget ex-wife of Tiger Woods, Ellen Nordegren, who purchased this $12.3 million dollar Palm Beach estate only to tear it down to make way for something more to her liking?

Categories: General

3 Responses

  1. Jake says:

    I bet the architects, tradesmen, laborers, suppliers, inspectors, government paper-pushers, tax collectors, etc etc local to these projects are happy to see new construction even though the old house may have been good enough for most. Those are real jobs and dollars going right back into the local economy. Who are you to determine how valuable that is at any given time or any given place vs. the resources that will be used?

  2. Wake up call says:

    Rich or poor, it’s NOT OK that a person who has alot money be SHAMEFULLY wasteful. Destroying/replacing perfectly good resources at the cost of draining and depleting more from our planet’s natural & limited resources. Hmmm. I think people like this need to be more aware and less self serving. We all depend on this planet to survive. We all have a responsibility to preserve and protect it, and not just for ourselves but future generations.

  3. Liberty First says:

    In a country where the citizen can own private property why would the author of this piece begrudge what anyone would do with his/her private property? If the author of the piece is so jealous of those of means then by all means delagate the writing of the story to an individual that is neutral to those of means.

    The garbage of envy, jealousy and leftist thought that is currently produced by our schools of journalism is certainly a sign of decline in the importance of the fourth estate.