Look For These Stories: Expensive Miami Real Estate And Actress Melissa Gilbert

The Most Expensive Property for Sale in Florida: $170 Million Miami Beach Estate

May 12, 2022

Behold the most expensive single-family residential property ever put up for sale in Florida!

Behold the most expensive single-family residential property ever put up for sale in Florida! Photo courtesy of The Jills Zeder Group/1 Oak StudiosEarlier this year, when the Arsht Estate was listed for a whopping $150 million, it shattered the record for the priciest single-family residential property ever put up for sale in Miami-Dade County — whereupon a three-home compound at 18 La Gorce Cir. in Miami Beach said, “Hold my beer.” 

Last week, the oceanfront estate of the late doctor, philanthropist, and University of Miami trustee M. Lee Pearce went on the market for $170 million — promptly one-upping the Arsht’s Estate’s short-lived reign as the county’s priciest residential listing. In fact, the property’s notorious real estate agents, Jill Eber and Jill Hertzberg of the Jills Zeder Group, tell New Times the Pearce compound is actually believed to be the most expensive residential property ever put up for sale in the entire state.  

“To the best of our knowledge, it is the highest price on a single folio residential property offered for sale in Florida,” writes one of the Jills (though it’s not clear which one) via email.  

The Pearce compound boasts 600-feet of frontage on Biscayne Bay. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JILLS ZEDER GROUP/1 OAK STUDIOS

The Pearce compound boasts 600-feet of frontage on Biscayne Bay. 

Photo courtesy of the Jills Zeder Group/1 Oak Studios Situated on the exclusive, gated La Gorce Island in Miami Beach, the Pearce compound boasts three homes — two two-story residences and a smaller one-story home with a guesthouse — each with its own private dock. In total, there are 12 bedrooms, 16 full bathrooms, nine half-bathrooms, and three swimming pools. 

The nearly three-acre property boasts statues of Greek gods and goddesses, opulent marble floors, handpainted frescos on the ceiling, crystal chandeliers, an extravagant Spanish-style courtyard, and 600 feet of frontage on Biscayne Bay with panoramic views of the Miami skyline. Not to mention a wine cellar, a vintage movie theater, and a private waterfront park on the property called “Domaine de la Paix et de l’Amour” (French for “Domain of Peace and Love”), decked out with manicured greenery and a waterfront gazebo. 

The owner demolished one of the existing homes to build a private waterfront park. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JILLS ZEDER GROUP/1 OAK STUDIOS

The owner demolished one of the existing homes to build a private waterfront park. 

Photo courtesy of the Jills Zeder Group/1 Oak Studios But, Jill Eber says, the most extraordinary part of the estate is that it is a collection of four different properties. 

“Assemblies are highly sought-after and difficult to put together,” she tells New Times. “This one is ready to go.” 

Private movie theater - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JILLS ZEDER GROUP/1 OAK STUDIOS

Private movie theater 

Photo courtesy of the Jills Zeder Group/1 Oak Studios M. Lee Pearce made his money building and operating hospitals, medical facilities, and banks. He purchased the separate properties throughout the 1980s, paying $3.1 million in total for the four lots. (Pearce tore down one of the homes to build his private park.) Pearce died in 2017, and the compound now belongs to his trust. According to the Wall Street Journal, proceeds from the sale will benefit the Dr. M. Lee Pearce Foundation, which provides grants for medical research and music. 

The Jills emphasize that the property is rare and in demand. So if you’ve got $170 million to spend and want to live down the road from Cher’s old pad, Eber suggests you move fast. 

“For this property,” she advises, “the best is to get involved quickly.”  

One of three pools on the property - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE JILLS ZEDER GROUP/1 OAK STUDIOS

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‘Little House on the Prairie’ star Melissa Gilbert talks embracing aging, finding love later in life

Melissa Gilbert might have more in common with her “Little House on the Prairie” character than fans realize.

The 58-year-old actress, who played Laura Ingalls Wilder on the beloved series, which first aired in 1974, opened up to “Good Morning America” on Tuesday about embracing the aging process and finding love later in life.

Gilbert recalled how she and husband Tim Busfield, whom she married in 2013, said goodbye to Hollywood to live in “a very rural part of Michigan” for five years before ultimately settling in upstate New York, where they now reside and are enjoying a “sweeter, simpler, more comfortable life.

PHOTO: Actor Timothy Busfield and actress Melissa Gilbert attend the opening night party for 'Medea' at the BAM Harvey Theater, Jan. 30, 2020, in New York City. (Lars Niki/Getty Images, FILE)

Actor Timothy Busfield and actress Melissa Gilbert attend the opening night party for ‘Medea’ at the BAM Harvey Theater, Jan. 30, 2020, in New York City.

“I had to get out of Los Angeles to actually age, which I wanted to do,” she said. “I’m excited about this. I love all these changes and watching what’s happening and getting to know this new person.”

Gilbert said she and Busfield, 64, sought “an escape” upon moving from Michigan to New York. The couple found it in a “run-down hunting cabin in the middle of 14 acres,” which Gilbert said they restored largely by themselves.

“I mean, I just got the dirt out from under my fingernails,” she joked.

The “Dancing With the Stars” alum also gushed about Busfield to “GMA,” noting that they were each other’s third marriage and knew what they truly wanted in a spouse.

“I think we were both craving just a more peaceful partnership or [to] be alone,” she said. “We’re just very much equals and we treat each other that way, and I think that’s what makes the difference. He’s my blanket. He’s my comfort place.”

Gilbert also said life with Busfield is never dull.

PHOTO: 'Little House on the Prairie', circa 1974.  (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: ‘Little House on the Prairie’, circa 1974. (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images, FILE)

“We laugh all day long. We constantly crack each other up,” she said. “He’s one of the funniest people I know. I mean, he will walk into a door just to make me laugh.”

Though Busfield, who people may remember from the 1987 TV drama “Thirtysomething” and his recurring role on “The West Wing,” hadn’t seen “Little House on the Prairie” before marrying Gilbert, she recently showed him the first episode and said he “got completely hooked.”

Gilbert said he only calls her “Half-Pint,” her nickname on the show, when the occasion calls for it.

Gilbert’s new book, “Back to the Prairie: A Home Remade, A Life Rediscovered,” is out now.

‘Little House on the Prairie’ star Melissa Gilbert talks embracing aging, finding love later in life originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com

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