Some Stealth Wealth Magnates Are Unhappy With The Influx Of Publicity On Indian Creek Island In Miami Beach - Where Will They Go? - Miami Luxury Homes
BY Michael Light / On May 20, 2024

Even if you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you have no doubt learned about the new very public residents on the ultra-private “Billionaire Bunker” of Indian Creek Island in Miami Beach.

It all began when Jared and Ivanka Kushner purchased and re-developed $24 million their dream home following former President Trump’s term in the White House.

From there, Tom Brady and his then-wife Gisele Bundchen chose a family home for his NFL retirement life. This plan went as far left as President Trump’s 2020 Presidential bid, and their retirement bunker is now a high profile bachelor pad.

If all of this wasn’t enough, Jeff Bezos showered the island with three purchases totaling $237 million during his profession of love for Lauren Sanchez and the Magic City.

Jeff Bezos 12 Indian Creek Drive Entry

Jeff Bezos 12 Indian Creek Drive Entry | Photo Credit: Miami MLS

All of these property transfers and revelations are great, people are moving onward and upward, navigating life’s turns in style. The only thing is that each of these new residents of the ultra-private neighborhood come with very public personas. Publicity is not something that is very welcome in many ultra-high net worth circles.

Indian Creek Island is called the Billionaire Bunker for a reason, and The Daily Mail’s omnipresence is not a part of this reason. Because of this, some of the 30-odd residents have been quietly moving on, searching for more private places to hang their hats.

(This is not a dig on The Daily Mail. Their business is celebrity journalism, and they and their peers do it well. Hence, this article.) 

One of the more notable transfers, just last week a Dutch magnetics heir quietly sold his Indian Creek compound to an unknown buyer in an off-market transaction for $65 million. Their direct neighbors are all high-profile names in the ultra-high-net-worth community, but unknown to the tabloids, and this is how they would like to keep it.

But where will they go?

Part of the draw to Indian Creek Island is its uniqueness. It is a private enclave of just 41 build sites. Since some owners (ahem – Bezos) own multiple lots, there are approximately 35 estates on the island along with a private country club, police force and municipal government. Billionaires love the privacy and security, the access point is a guard-gated bridge from Surfside onto the island, and it is extremely convenient to the beach in Bal Harbour along with the Shops at Bal Harbour for shopping and entertainment. There are many private schools within a convenient distance as well as access to both Miami International Airport and Opa Locka Executive (the private airport).

The Links Estates Fisher Island Private Marina

The Links Estates Fisher Island Private Marina | Image Credit: The Links Estates at Fisher Island

Here are some possible alternatives to Indian Creek Village:

Fisher Island

Possibly the most obvious answer would be Fisher Island. The name is synonymous with luxury and privacy. In order to access the island, guests must use either a ferry or a yacht, both of which are security checked prior to disembarking.

Once on the Fisher Island, residents enjoy a private club with full amenities as well as a private municipality. There is a police force, a private elementary school, a post office and grocery outlet for residents only. Press passes will absolutely NOT garner entry to the island, it is notorious for allowing its ultra-high-net-worth residents the ability to be themselves without worry of being splashed across a tabloid.

When considering Indian Creek Island vs Fisher Island, buyers will notice that Fisher Island offers just a few single-family residences. The vast majority of the buildings on Fisher Island are ultra-luxurious condominium developments with estate-sized residences. The Links at Fisher Island does offer a handful of single-family homes along the golf course, but they are the exception to a mostly condominium-style neighborhood.

Some buyers may also want to compare the accessibility of living on a private island as well. While the ferry and security checkpoints do offer an added level of privacy, you do need to factor that in to travel time when venturing to the mainland.

Golden Beach

Newcomers to Miami Beach are often surprised to learn that beachfront estates in the 305 are largely a myth. The only stretch of sand in Miami Beach that is home to single family estates is Golden Beach. This is just north of Bal Harbour and Indian Creek Island and a big difference that you will notice is the waterfront lots in Indian Creek are all bayfront while Golden Beach offers a choice of bayfront or beachfront living.

Like Indian Creek, Golden Beach also has its own municipality and police force, it is very close to high end shopping at the Shoppes at Bal Harbour, and it has been home to high-profile residents such as Bill Gates, Tommy Hilfiger, Eric Clapton and Ricky Martin. Eric Clapton’s famous 461 Ocean Boulevard was actually where the musician lived while recording the album in the early 1970’s.

Despite its storied past, Golden Beach is now full of exclusivity and luxury yet is free of publicity and paparazzi.

64 La Gorce Circle Miami Beach Aerial

64 La Gorce Circle Miami Beach Aerial | Image Credit: Be Legendary/Dina Goldentayer

La Gorce

Another local private island is La Gorce Island and the adjacent La Gorce Country Club. These private enclaves have long been popular with the local elite, with the La Gorce Country Club dating back to 1927.

La Gorce Island recently appeared in the press when a mysterious buyer purchased an assemblage of waterfront estates for north of $100 million. There are rumors of who the buyer could be, but no announcement has been made and none is anticipated.

In the past, celebrities such as Cher and Madonna have called La Gorce home, and this is the spot where rapper Lil’ Wayne was “swatted” in the 2010’s, but after he sold his waterfront estate in 2017, it has been quiet.

5455 Kerwood Terrace, Coral Gables, Florida

5455 Kerwood Terrace, Coral Gables, Florida

Coral Gables

The City Beautiful is home to many ultra-luxurious estates where old money estates are commonplace and the neighbors live quietly. Moving to Coral Gables would naturally mean giving up a Miami Beach address, but what you would get to keep is a very generous estate-sized lot, plenty of rich history, lush greenery and waterfront access. There is also high-end shopping at the nearby Merrick Park and Miracle Mile.

Some of our favorite locations in Coral Gables for those who would want a more private version of Indian Creek would be Tahiti Beach with its 26 bayfront estates that are hidden behind multiple guard entrances and offers all of the amenities of CocoPlum, which include tennis and boating activities and access to some of South Florida’s best schools.

Other neighborhoods to pay attention to would be Snapper Creek, Gables by the Sea, Gables Estates and Old Cutler Bay. All of these neighborhoods will offer exclusive and quiet lifestyles on estate-sized lots, many of which are waterfront.

It should also be noted that Jeff Bezos has also been through this area, although with less publicity. His parents have recently moved into Journey’s End. Bezos was also raised nearby, attending Palmetto High.

Messi Key Biscayne House 440 S Mashta Drive

Messi Key Biscayne House 440 S Mashta Drive | Photo Credit: Miami MLS

Key Biscayne

While Key Biscayne is not a private island, it is a close-knit quiet community with its own municipality. Many refer to it as “The Key” and its main draw is the quiet lifestyle adjacent to the Brickell Financial District, Coconut Grove and Coral Gables.

The lush landscape of the barrier island makes homes here elude to the stereotype of the quintessential Miami lifestyle. With private docks, a nearby park and yacht club, and a notable quiet community, this is where people come to live in peaceful luxury.

Recently the community did make headlines in 2021 when soccer phenom Leonel Messi leased a home on The Key. This was really fun for the locals, until he arrived with the swarms of paparazzi and celebrity-chasers trying to catch a glimpse of the star. The local police even had to close the street in order to contain the ruckus. Key Biscayne was not prepared for this onslaught of attention, nor did they enjoy it. Since then, life has been quiet on The Key.

3301 South Moorings Way Coconut Grove FL Waterfront Pool

3301 South Moorings Way Coconut Grove FL Waterfront Pool | Photo credit: Brown Harris Stevens

Coconut Grove

We will end our list of quiet possibilities with Coconut Grove, which is also our personal favorite and our home. It is also home to the new Godfather of Miami, Ken Griffin, although after the initial purchase of his $107 million waterfront estate, he keeps his life relatively low key. We continue to hear about his local business and philanthropic moves, but he shies away from the paparazzi.

For others who are looking for a quiet waterfront lifestyle, the best enclaves to choose would be The Moorings and Camp Biscayne.

The Moorings is a gated enclave of laid back elegance, with casual, chic and tropical vibes in architecturally significant estates with long white draperies that blow in the breeze.

You will find a similar vibe a little farther north in Camp Biscayne.  This was once the winter getaway for the 1920’s elite, so think of the excess from the Gatsby era translated into today’s conveniences. Camp Biscayne is also where Ken Griffin chose his waterfront home and it is conveniently located near the Brickell Financial District.

These neighborhoods are also convenient to some of the best public and private schools in the country, and are very family-oriented areas.

If you are interested in learning more about life in any of these areas, please contact Michael Light, Grove resident as well as Broker and Executive Director of Luxury Sales at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. We are incredibly tied-in with the community and able to track down off-market deals if needed.



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