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Starwood Exec Sells Residence on Gated Miami Seaside Island for $17.4 Million

A remodeled 1930s home on the gated Sunset Islands near Miami Beach has sold for $17.4  million, a discount from its initial $22.9 million asking price. 

It’s still a major profit for seller Austin Nowlin, a managing director at the Miami Beach-based investment giant Starwood Capital Group, who knows a thing or two about real estate. Nowlin purchased the two-story home on Sunset Drive for $5.65 million in 2020 and embarked on a massive renovation project that took over two years to complete, according to Marko Gojanovic of One Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented the seller alongside Reid Heidenry.  

Located on a 14,000-square-foot corner lot on the Sunset Islands, accessible only by manned bridges, the three-bedroom home spans over 5,000 square feet, and includes a south-facing pool, a dock on the bay and views of Downtown Miami. 

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The six-bedroom home retains its original Mediterranean look, with whitewashed walls, a red clay-tiled roof, with covered patio and deck areas along the length of the home in both the front and the back, creating a balance between indoor and outdoor living. 

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“People love homes with Mediterranean charm that are fully remodeled,” said Gojanovic. “‘Med-Mod’ is the term for it.”

On the interior, white walls and pale wood flooring and cabinetry create a uniform look that complements the region’s sunny climate. In the living room, one of the only remaining original features is a brick floor-to-ceiling fireplace flanked by two full-floor windows, which offers some visual variety and a touch of coziness.

Nowlin, who is based in New York, is the head of capital markets for the Americas at Starwood, where he’s worked since 2011, according to the company’s website. He could not immediately be reached for comment. 

The buyer, who was not disclosed, was represented by Danny Hertzberg with Jills Zeder Group, the agent confirmed.

During the remodel, the seller added additional square footage, completely redid the yard, which now includes a pool and landscaping, and also added the dock and a new seawall. “It’s basically a brand new house with the existing structure,” Gojanovic said.

The house was first listed for $22.9 million in December at a slightly ambitious price because of the limited inventory on the Sunset Islands, Gojanovic said. The sale closed on July 1 and the price reflected on the deed is $16.65 million, but additional costs brought the full price to $17.4 million, Hertzberg confirmed.

Prices in Miami Beach have skyrocketed since 2020, with the median price for a single-family home tripling to $3.35 million in May, according to Redfin. The median price for all homes, including condos, rose to a median of $575,000. 

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Current Sunset Islands listings are asking as much as $35 million, while at least two homes on the islands sold for above $20 million in May, according to Zillow.

The two key factors that increase the desirability of the Sunset Islands are the security and walkability to Sunset Harbour, “the local Lincoln Road,” said Hertzberg, especially for transplants from New York or San Francisco, who are used to the walkable lifestyle. “They love that aspect, that there’s 24/7 security and it’s walkable to Sunset Harbour,” he said.

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