Inside a $218 million private island in Palm Beach — Florida's most expensive home for sale
A private island in Palm Beach could become the most-expensive home ever sold in Florida, if it gets its asking price of $218 million.
Developer Todd Michael Glaser and his partners bought 10 Tarpon Isle — the only private island in Palm Beach — for $85 million in 2021. They built a brand new house, turned the existing structure into a guest house, and added a giant pool, tennis courts and other amenities and have now relisted the property.
"I paid $85 million without a hesitation because there's only one of them," Glaser said. "You watch art, they sell. There's a Mercedes 300 SLR that just sold for $142 million. ... That's what this is ... it's a one of one."
When Glaser bought Tarpon Isle, it held a modest 1940s house and plenty of potential.
"I came over the bridge, I saw the two trees and I said, 'Guys, let's knock down the garage and the guest house and the maid's quarters and let's build a brand new house,'" Glaser said.
The new main house is over 9,000 square feet. With the guest house, tennis pavilion and other structures, the property now has over 21,000 feet of living space. There are 11 bedrooms, 15 full bathrooms and seven half-baths.
Unlike many Palm Beach mansions, which are Mediterranean-styled giants festooned with gold carvings and mahogany, Tarpon Isle is a study in modern simplicity, where the star of the home is sweeping water views on all four sides.
The master bedroom suite is a large complex of closets, bathrooms and sitting areas. The larger of two bathrooms is a temple of white Italian marble, covering the floors, countertops, ceiling and oversized shower. A large soaking tub perched in front of the windows overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway.
"It's the best bathroom I ever did," Glaser said. "My wife picked it, and she did an incredible job. I've never seen anything like this bathroom."
Outside, there's a new 98-foot pool overlooking the views of the water to the south. A large dock can fit multiple boats or a mega-yacht. The guest house features resort-like amenities, including a spa, massage room, salon and entertainment area.
"That's the way we designed it," Glaser said. "When people come to Palm Beach they bring their families, they're on vacation."
Glaser said the human-made island, which was built in the 1940s, has a high sea wall. Because it's well protected in the Intracoastal and well elevated, it has easily weathered big storms and tidal surges, he said.
Granted, $218 million is an ambitious price, even for Palm Beach. The record sale in the enclave was Oracle founder Larry Ellison's $173 million purchase of billionaire Jim Clark's oceanfront estate last year.
Palm Beach is the most expensive real estate market in the country, with an average sale price of nearly $13 million, according to Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel. Many homes saw their prices more than triple during the pandemic as ultra-wealthy buyers from the Northeast fled to Florida, and the coveted properties in Palm Beach in particular.
Christopher Leavitt of Douglas Elliman, who is listing the property alongside Christian Angle Real Estate, said interest in the property has been strong, especially from hedge fund managers and finance chiefs looking to relocate south.
"The buyer of this home is someone who wants the one and only private island on the island of Palm Beach, surrounded 360 degrees by water, accessible by your boat or a private bridge," Leavitt said. "It's somebody who wants that one property that no one else has, that one trophy property."
Glaser declined to say what profit he would make if the home sells for its asking price. He added that he and his investors spent "a fortune" on the new home and improvements. But he said the buyer will be making a long-term investment.
"Whoever buys this house, in five years they're going to be very happy with the purchase," he said. "It's a legacy property that they'll own for the rest of their lives."