Back in January 2016, two absolutely incredible real estate properties came to market. Both had been occupied by a single family for several decades. Both were (are) truly extraordinary. The first property was Hugh Hefner's Playboy mansion. When the Playboy mansion hit the market in January 2016, the listing price was $200 million. That was enough to make it the most-expensive home for sale in the United States. A few weeks later, a 15-acre compound/estate in Florida took second spot with a listing price of $195 million. The Playboy mansion sold about six months after being listed to the then-32 year old Twinkies/Pabst Blue Ribbon heir, Daren Metropoulos.
The Florida mansion was a tougher sell. The listing was removed a few times then re-added in October 2020 at $115 million. According to the Multiple Listing Service, it just sold for $95 million. It's the latest in a string of Florida mega-mansion sales, as billionaires flee high-tax New York/Connecticut/California in search of a better place to work from home, or just live.
Located in Palm Beach County in the town of Manalapan, the 15-acre property known as "Gemini" spans the entire width of an island. One one side, the property has 1,200 feet of Atlantic Ocean sand. On the other side, it has 1,300 feet of frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway side.
The original mansion was built in the 1940s by Gloria Guinness, a Mexican-born socialite whose fortune was derived from her fourth marriage to Thomas Loel Guinness. Thomas was indeed an heir to the Guinness beer dynasty, but he comes from a branch of the family that actually made far more money through banking and real estate than beer sales.
The property was acquired in the 1980s by William B. Ziff, who earned his fortune through Ziff Davis, publisher PC Magazine and coupon mailer RetailMeNot, among a dozen other publications.
In 1994 William Ziff sold 95% of Ziff Davis to private equity firm Frostmann Little for $1.4 billion. He promptly retired, and proceeded to live a presumably fantastic life until dying in 2006 at the age of 76. He was survived by Tamsen Ann Kojis.
Upon retiring in 1994, William actually transferred the majority of his wealth to his three sons from his first marriage. Those three sons, Dirk Ziff, Robert Ziff and Daniel Ziff drastically increased the family fortune through savvy investments. Today the three Ziff brothers are each worth a little under $5 billion.
After acquiring Gemini in the 1980s, William B. Ziff renovated and expanded Gloria's original home to 62,000 square-feet. Today the main home has 33 bedrooms and 38 bathrooms. When you include guest houses and cabanas, the property has 47 bathrooms. One of the guest houses has seven bedrooms.
The property is so incredible and unique. It really must be seen to be believed. Check out this video tour:
Other estate highlights include:
- World-class botanic garden with 1,500 species of tropical plants
- PGA golf rated practice area
- Sports complex with basketball court, tennis court and mini-golf course
The home's new owner has not been revealed yet. We'll keep you posted if that becomes public!