The Miami Herald
August 7, 2014
Is Google Exec Building On Miami Beach?
By Joey Flechas
Look for a high-level Google executive in the neighborhood soon.
On Tuesday, Miami Beach’s Design Review Board approved the design of a two-story, 9,455 square-foot mansion at 421 East San Marino. Nestled on a 25,812 square-foot lot near northern tip of San Marino Island, the five-bedroom home will feature a series of pools and fountains that surround the house, multiple decks, a four-car garage and a second floor wrapped with a terracotta sunscreen.
As with many high-end homes in South Florida, the property owner is a limited liability corporation. This property owner, West San Marino LLC, lists an address that matches one for a company started by three Google heavyweights: founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page and current executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt. The address is also home to office of the Schmidt Family Foundation.
If a top Google executive is indeed the owner, he will be part of a parade of monied out-of-towners who have purchased homes in South Florida, including investor Carl Icahn, New York real estate developer Richard LeFrak, Goldman Sacks CEO Lloyd Blankenfeld and Apollo Global Management co-founder Leon Black.
Matt Hiltzik, publicist for Schmidt, declined to comment. The project is being designed by New York-based achitectural firm Leroy Street Studio and Miami landscape architect Raymond Jungles.
Miami Beach’s planning department gave the project its blessing in a report to the review board.
“In summary, the architect has created a design that is sensitive to the surrounding property with a massing and scale that is compatible with the neigborhood,” the report reads.
Some conditions came with the recommendation and Tuesday’s approval, including city approval for the colors on outside finishes. City planner James Murphy said there are no historic preservation issues to consider with the existing home.
“Since this property is not located within a local historic district and is not individually designated as a historic site, it will not be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Board,” he said.
To build the luxurious new home, a four-bedroom, 4,438 square-foot home built in 1939 will be demolished. That home was designed by noted Miami architect Robert Fitch Smith.
The property last sold for $7.5 million in 2013.
Miami Herald staff writer Ina Paiva Cordle contributed to this report.