From Chicago’s Citadel hedge fund boss, Ken Griffin to Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, buying homes in Miami around the $100 million mark seems like a piece of cake. 

Griffin took the biggest slice buying a Miami four-acre waterfront estate with two homes for a mere $109 million setting the local record topping 9 figures.  It was the highest priced residential sale in Miami history. The property overlooks Biscayne Bay with 400 feet of water frontage and views of the Miami skyline. 

And that’s not all Griffin, now Miami’s wealthiest resident, bought here.  With a net worth of around $32.7 billion, Griffin has plenty of dough to sprinkle around South Florida.  His pandemic buying spree has not slowed down.  Griffin’s Miami real estate portfolio tops off at around $1.3 billion so far.  And as Griffin said himself, “We’re not sort of in — we’re all in.”

Not only did Griffin buy both residential and commercial properties as well as land in Miami, but also decided to pack up and move himself and his entire Citadel corporation south.  Griffin chose Miami as the new Citadel headquarters and also opened an office in Palm Beach. 

His real estate purchases have included a variety of properties including a pair of penthouses at starchitect, Norman Foster designed Faena House in Miami Beach for $60 million, a ‘tear-down’ on ritzy Star Island for about $75 million, an $83 million, 50,000 square feet office building on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach and another next door.  In downtown Miami, Griffin dug even deeper into his wallet and paid $363 million for a lot at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive in Miami and another for $20 million for a non-waterfront site at 1250 and 1260 Brickell Bay Drive and yet another at 1221 Brickell Avenue, a 28-story building for $286.5 million.  This assemblage is for a 1000 feet tall skyscraper that will cost about $1 billion to build.  When finished, it will include a helipad, marina and restaurants, with Griffin hoping to attract top tenants to the office space. 

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Another business titan, Barry Sternlicht of Starwood Capital moved his headquarters years ahead of Griffin. Sternlicht built a brand-new office tower across from his flagship 1 Hotel in South Beach.  It is near the W South Beach hotel that Sternlicht also launched.  Kayak founder, Steve Hafner bought a 7-bedroom condo for $40 mil here.

But the newest talk of the town, is the $68 million mansion that Amazon founder and third richest man in the world with a net worth of $163 billion, Jeff Bezos bought this summer on Indian Creek Island.  This island is affectionately called Florida’s ‘Billionaire Bunker.’   Jeff and his ‘bride to be’ will be neighbors with the likes of Tom Brady, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Carl Icahn and Julio Iglesias.  For Bezos, this new buy is an addition to his already impressive real estate portfolio valued over $350 million. 

Jeff Bezos real estate war chest includes a $165 million mansion in Beverly Hills, a $78 million estate in Hawaii, the largest home in Washington D.C. and his 5.3-acre property in Medina, Washington, a 30,000-acre ranch in Texas and a Fifth Avenue apartment in NYC worth nearly $100 million.

The 59-year-old Bezos new home in Miami marks a homecoming for him since he graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High School. 

Of America’s 775 billionaires, Florida is home to 92 of them, making it a billionaire hotspot.  Maybe the fact that Florida is an income tax-free state may have something to do with it.  And then of course, the year-round warm sunny weather and lifestyle put icing on the cake.  At the end of the day, many uber-wealthy from all walks of life seem to be attracted to the Magic City of Miami.  So far, Miami has 12 billionaires and counting. 

For those interested in exploring real estate opportunities in South Florida from Miami to Fort Lauderdale to Palm Beach, the writer of this article, Hope Gainer is happy to be of assistance.  She is a Chicago native who moved to Miami a few decades ago and knows the South Florida market well.  She has had her Florida Real Estate license for over 20 years.