'One of a kind': Priciest home ever to sell on Marco Island fetches $10.5M

Andrew Wigdor
Naples Daily News

A new milestone in the Southwest Florida luxury market was reached after the priciest home ever to sell on Marco Island changed hands for $10.5 million. 

The 8,675-square-foot property at 475 Gate House Court sold on Wednesday after less than 30 days on the market, showing the strong demand for new, luxury homes on Marco. 

According to Jim Prange, a Premier Sotheby's International Realty agent who listed the house, this is the first time that a "brand-new, mega-home" has been offered for sale on the Marco public market since 2004. He said that there have been comparable homes built on the island in that time, but they have been constructed exclusively for the owner and were not offered for sale. 

The last home of this "caliber" to be put up for sale on the island was known as the "Villa Venezia," a property on Caxambas Court that was completed in 2004, according to Prange. It was later sold in 2007 for $9 million, setting a record sales price for the island — until now.

"We just have not had had anything of this quality to offer anybody," Prange said. "I was really eager for the island to see it." 

According to Prange, the island simply hasn't had many developers or investors building $10 million homes with the intent to sell in recent years. 

"That's a pretty risky venture," he said. 

Despite the apparent risk, the Gate House Court home didn't stay on the market long.

"The minute the home came on the market, he knew that was the home he wanted," Prange said of the buyer, who wished to remain private. "It went from a 30-day close to, 'I want to close next week.'" 

The home is situated in Hideaway Beach, a gated beachfront community, and offers almost 470 feet of direct frontage on Collier Bay. The home represented a rare opportunity for the buyer as there are only three waterfront properties within the community.

A brand new home recently built on Marco Island is pictured on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. The home fetched $10.5 million, making it the highest priced sale in Marco history.

Prange stated that the nicest area of the island other than Hideaway Beach is the "Estates area" in the Southeast section of Marco. A typical waterfront Estates lot will run from $800,000 to $3 million, according to Prange. 

"But most of those lots only have 125 feet of frontage on the water," he said. "This home had almost four times that."

'Nothing but water'

The Gate House Court property is truly special, Prange said, noting the ships that regularly pass by and the opportunity to see wildlife, such as manatees and dolphins, right from the house. 

"I wish I had three or more of these homes," he said. "I'm going to miss the listing. It was fun just to hang out in there. You felt like you were on a cruise ship in the middle of SeaWorld. When you look out the windows, you see nothing but water."

The property has been under construction for the past few years and was completed in 2019. It has six bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half bathrooms.

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The seller, who also wished to remain private, oversaw the construction of the home, according to Prange.

Prange said the $10.5 million home is not the first property the seller has constructed with the intent to sell. The seller currently has two more homes under construction in the area that will be a little under $3 million, according to Prange. 

"Some people collect antiques," he said. "Some people collect art. This guy has fun with real estate. He likes creating homes ... He's already on the next one." 

Jim Prange, right, and daughter Nikki Prange-Carroll with Sotheby's International Realty pose for a portrait at a home recently built, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, on Marco Island.

Prange's daughter, Nikki Prange-Carroll, who is a full-time partner with her father, agreed that this was a "one of a kind" sale. 

"It's got the latest technology," she said. "Everything can be done from your phone."

The home is surround sound wired and has features such as a private elevator and infinity-edge pool and spa.

Marco could see more mega homes in near future

"This has raised the standard for our luxury market here on Marco, so that's exciting," Prange-Carroll said. "I definitely think another home will be created similarly and people know, 'Hey, Marco can see those numbers too.' We just haven't had the product to release."

The father-daughter duo agreed that the record-breaking sale could serve as a call for more builders to target Marco as a notable luxury destination.

"I do think Marco is ready for it," Prange said. "We've still got some incredible locations on the island that have never been developed. It's a special place."

He said that once the news of the sale gets out, people may feel more comfortable with homes in this price range.

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A brand new home recently built on Marco Island is pictured on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. The home fetched $10.5 million, making it the highest priced sale in Marco history.

According to Prange, when "modern-day Marco" was developed in the '60s, it wasn't originally designed to be a mecca for upscale living. 

"They didn't design it to be Port Royal," he said. "They designed it to almost be like a Golden Gate, with more affordable, middle-income (housing). Then all of a sudden money found its way here, and we're a destination resort."

Over the years, more money has been coming into the area, bringing about demand for high-end housing, Prange said. 

"It really wasn't until the '80s that money started to come this way," he said. "It started to explode after that."

Prange noted a lot that he recently sold on the beach for more than $3 million. He said he sold the same lot in 1988 for $285,000.

Reach Andrew Wigdor at awigdor@gannett.com and on Twitter @andrew_wigdor