Sky High

Will This $15 Million Siesta Key Home Be the Year’s Top Sale?

Less than three months into 2024, the sale of a waterfront home on the northern end of the key has already exceeded last year's top deal.

By Kim Doleatto March 12, 2024

4300 Higel Ave. on Siesta Key.

Welcome to the new normal. Home inventory is up, along with time to contract, while prices are holding steady. The price part is particularly evident in the luxury world, where the sale of one waterfront home for just under $15 million has set a new high for this year, already surpassing last year’s priciest sale of $13.95 million.

Similar to what happened to many homes during the homebuyer's rush of 2021 and 2022, the Siesta Key home at 4300 Higel Ave. had multiple offers and was picked up in just four days in a cash deal.

The front entryway.

But it’s not the home’s first walk down the catwalk, and, like supermodel Cindy Crawford, it has enjoyed a long career as a stunner.

The former owners installed AstroTurf, a trend in the dry state of Arizona, where they moved from.

In 2013, it caught our eye when it was listed for sale, and in 2014 it sold for $10.25 million, a record for the barrier island at the time. Then in 2021, it fetched another record amount when it sold for $12 million, placing it in the top five sales that year when Jeffrey Jones and his wife Susan Jones sold it to Chanel Holdings LLC.

Behind the LLC is couple Patrick and Brenda Smith. He’s the chief executive officer of Axon Enterprise in Scottsdale, Arizona, which manufactures tasers and body cameras used by police, associated software and more. According to Mark Coppens of Living Vogue, who represented the Smiths in the sale, the sale was motivated by the couple having to move back to Arizona due to changes in remote work options.

Entry into the two-story home.

Attracted to the beach, the Smiths thought the 8,600-square-foot waterfront address would be a good home base to live in while they built their true dream home next door on a 1.3-acre empty lot they had also bought, and have since sold.

One of the home's bedrooms.

Designed by local architect Clifford Scholz and built by Perrone Construction, 4300 Higel Ave. was inspired by the Georgian manor houses of the West Indies. Built by then-owners John and Karen Melk (John was one of the original partners of Blockbuster Video), it’s the result of what the couple gleaned from developing some of the most exclusive and luxurious real estate in the world, including Fisher Island, a barrier island near Miami that attracts the world’s super-rich and elite, and Musha Cay, a private island in the Bahamas that has hosted Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates. Famous illusionist David Copperfield bought Musha Cay from Melk for $50 million in 2006. Viacom bought the video rental company for $8.4 billion in 1994.

The home's bar.

Located on the northern end of Siesta Key, on a 1.6-acre gated site with private beach access, it has six bedrooms, six full bathrooms and three half bathrooms. Sunlight pours through the many windows that frame water views of the Gulf, and there’s loads of marble in the kitchen and an 800-square-foot bathroom. There's a fireplace, substantial wood trim, walnut and marble floors, and cypress ceilings. The main level has an owner's suite, and there are four guest suites and a guest lounge upstairs. There are multiple patios, balconies and a sprawling pool deck by the Gulf.

The kitchen.
Another view of the kitchen.

The new buyers, who wish to remain anonymous, are relocating from the East Coast, where they’re located on the beachfront, but in a "community that isn’t as active," says Alexis Smith-Frady of Compass Real Estate, who represented them in the purchase. “Our walkability is next level. Many communities on the other coast don’t have a dedicated downtown with shops and a gathering place like Siesta Key. They knew they wanted beachfront, and after looking for roughly a year, they knew this was it.”

One of six full bathrooms.

Will more sales in this price point mark the rest of 2024, despite spikes in homeowners insurance rates? 

An indoor living area.

“I think there are more options at this price point than there used to be," says Coppens. "This price range and its values have outpaced the rest of the market and have increased over the last five years. I see we're getting people who would normally purchase on the East Coast in this price range. For them, a $15 million home, and even a $20 million home as you'd see in West Palm and Naples, isn't an unreasonable price point."

A footbridge connects the grounds to the beach.


A rear view of the home.

What hooked the buyers was “the approach to the home,” says Smith-Frady, "It has great scale, which is a nod to Perrone and Scholtz. And the water views.”

Another attractive selling point, she notes, was the smooth, upward grading of the home, which matches its current elevation to flood zone rules, without the need to climb any steps.

Dozens of oak trees span the property.
The front of the home includes a putting green.
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