Ultra-Luxury Real Estate – Fort Myers Florida Weekly

4405 W. Gulf Drive on Sanibel is on the market for $38 million.

4405 W. Gulf Drive on Sanibel is on the market for $38 million.

The highest-priced listing for a home in Lee County’s history reveals two prominent facts: One, the county is NOT rapidly becoming a Collier-like Neapolitan refuge for a large population of the very well-off (only a few of them, perhaps); that’s because the listing, smack dab on the sugar sand of Sanibel Island’s Gulf beach, is $11 million more than the second-highest listing.

And two, perhaps: homes built as supreme weather resistors with state-of-the-art, anti-hurricane technologies remain eminently marketable. That’s even after Hurricane Ian, even after the sobering climate-change predictions of many scientists for weather events of increased intensity, and even on barrier islands and beachfronts facing the open sea.

But whether such a home or a few others like it will sell for their listed prices is another question, especially in the case of the cute little place at 4405 W. Gulf Drive on Sanibel.

There, $38 million will get you the following on a space-to-stretch 2.26 acres, according to the Zillow listing:

The home’s kitchen is shown at top right.

The home’s kitchen is shown at top right.

Six bedrooms and seven bathrooms in 10,183 square feet of living space.

Last year, taxes were $216,612 on an assessed value of just over $14.6 million, with neighboring properties assessed in ranges from $2.4 million to $9.5 million.

It features a balcony, fireplace, sitting area and walk-in closets in the master bedroom.

Concrete, stone and wood floors, seemingly every appliance known to man, pool, outdoor kitchen, walk-on access to the beach, and much more, all on a dead end. The listing agent, Phaidra Mcdermott of Kingfisher Real Estate, who grew up on Sanibel Island, offered this view of the splendid estate: “The listing of a home like this brings up the value and worth of others. It’s a splendid place, and yes, it’s built to withstand any weather.”

But her listing is not the only one reaching for the listing-price stars, which gives analysts and veteran real estate pros only slight pause.

A picture of the foyer in the home located at 4405 W. Gulf Drive on Sanibel. COURTYES PHOTOS

A picture of the foyer in the home located at 4405 W. Gulf Drive on Sanibel. COURTYES PHOTOS

“What does this mean for us and the rest of the market in Lee County? Well, it’s good to hear. They’re good numbers to see, but I don’t know how much it affects us,” says Nelson Taylor, an analyst and vice president of market research for LSI Companies, which specializes in development, acquisition and disposition of commercial, residential and land properties in Collier, Lee and Charlotte Counties.

“It may give us a national reputation and perspective, but does it raise the bar here? I don’t think so.”

As for violent weather, “these places are so expensive in part because they’re built for it, with the pilings sunk so deep, weather-resistant windows, all of it,” he adds. “So, they’re good to go.”

Denny Grimes, founder and president of Denny Grimes & Team, who has studied the markets in Lee and Collier for 40 years, puts it this way: “If your neighbor buys a Lamborghini, does it affect you? No, although it may change your perception of top dollar.”

The living room at 4405 W. Gulf Drive.

The living room at 4405 W. Gulf Drive.

Then, he reinforces the notion that Lee isn’t becoming another Collier with data.

“Anything over $10 million is the ultra luxury market. So, if we look at all single-family homes that have sold for over $20 million since Thomas Edison was here in Fort Myers (Edison died in 1931), Collier has 42, and Lee has zero.

“What’s interesting is that 31 of those were sold since 2021 so that market didn’t exist before that. Using the MLS (the Multiple Listing Service brokers share), we can see that the two most expensive homes ever sold in Lee were over $15 million on Captiva, one that went for $17.15 million.”

That was then.

On Captiva now, Karen Bell of VIP Realty Sanibel and Captiva is listing almost 12,300 square feet on more than six acres in more than one home, which together includes ten bedrooms and 13 bathrooms, for a tidy $26.985 million.

The online description is ravishing in itself, although only ravishing enough to get a value assessment of about $23.12 million with an estimated sales range of $21.72 to $24.73 million from Zillow.

For that, this: “This family compound stretches from the Gulf to Roosevelt Channel. The Gulf-Front parcel features a main home with 6 BR/6.5 BA & 2 BR/2 BA guest cottage. Expansive veranda with heated saltwater pool & spa, 2-story Great room, detailed millwork, formal dining room, fully equipped gourmet kitchen, private elevator, multiple balconies, and private screened lanais. The primary suite offers his/her bathrooms, morning bar, walk-in closets, and screened lanai. Breathtaking Gulf & Sunset views. The gated Roosevelt Channel parcel offers an indoor lap pool, sauna, private tennis court, 2-story great room with a Cupola, wood ceiling and wood floors. Fully equipped gourmet kitchen, formal dining room, office & den. Brazilian wood deck w/built-in outdoor fireplace & a rooftop hot tub. Two private bedroom ensuites w/morning bars. Enjoy boating at its best w/2 docks, all with direct access to the Bay & Gulf for World Class fishing! An additional vacant parcel of land included in the purchase of this compound on Roosevelt Channel.”

That’s not all if you’re looking for homes in these price ranges, but only in Lee County.

There’s a $25 million listing for a home, newly constructed, on Glock Drive in Fort Myers with four bedrooms and five bathrooms in 9,000 square feet; two homes in relatively close proximity on Hickory Boulevard in Bonita Springs — that’s beachfront — one listed for $24.75 million and the other for $24.5 million, both offering just under or just over 7,000 square feet; and a home on Coconut Drive in Fort Myers overlooking the Caloosahatchee with almost twice that square footage, at 13,000 square feet, for a mere $17.95 million.

Last year, a house on neighboring Montrose Drive was sold for the highest price ever in the City of Palms itself: $8.95 million.

As waterfront, the Caloosahatchee is an impressive one-mile wide in Fort Myers. And the Gulf of Mexico is an impressive 810 nautical miles wide off the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva, or Bonita Springs.

One thing about the $38 million listing on Sanibel that potential buyers should keep in mind if they’re considering making an offer: “No down-payment assistance programs available for this specific home,” the Zillow advertisement states. ¦

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