ABOUT 775 S MASHTA DRIVE
Greatest property in south florida – ever. Captivating waterfront 2 acre gated grand estate on a private peninsula Overlooking biscayne bay with the miami slyline as a backdrop. 2,000 feet water frontage . 5 story, 12,000 square feet, 6 Bedrooms, 8 full baths, with stunning 360 degree water and city views. Fabulous pool and gazebo area. Private deep Water yacht harbor. Property was the playground of america’s elite at the turn of the century. (vanderbilt’s , Carnegie’s and the likes partied here)
An 11,500-square-foot home on Biscayne Bay is about to hit the market for $60 million. If it actually fetches that price, it would become the most expensive home ever sold in Miami.
The high price tag for 775 S. Mashta Drive, on Key Biscayne, an island off Miami’s coast, is due to the land, not the house itself. The property encompasses two acres and 2,000 feet of water frontage and is comprised of three buildable plots, meaning that two additional homes could potentially be constructed. “I dare to say it’s one of the nicest pieces of property in all of the Eastern Seaboard, not just Miami,” says listing agent Jorge Uribe of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty.
The land at 775 S. Mashta is also completely man-made. By 1908, a wealthy industrialist named William John Matheson had purchased most of Key Biscayne. Matheson made his fortune in aniline dyes, eventually merging his company with four others to form Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation. He owned some 1,700 acres of Key Biscayne, or the northern two-thirds of the island, according to a 2008 article in the Miami Herald, where he planted tropical fruits and coconuts and eventually developed the nation’s largest coconut plantation. On the southeastern side of the island, he created a hook of land (by dredging and filling with landfill) where he built his own private palace.
Plans for Mashta House, as the residence became known, were inspired by architecture Matheson saw on a trip up the Nile. TheHerald article describes Mashta House as a loggia with “rustic log-beamed ceilings and lush wall coverings,” covered in “enigmatic murals and decorative paintings of mystical symbols.” No one ever lived in this dwelling, whose Egyptian name meant “resting place.” In the early part of the century Matheson floated his friends over by yacht–among them Vanderbilts, Carnegies, and Mellons–to enjoy the gorgeous views and to party.
Much of the land that is today the site of Miami’s most expensive homes–Star Island, Hibiscus Island, even much of Miami Beach–was created via landfill by developers looking to create lots for the well-off. But 775 S. Mashta Drive has the distinction of being a landfill parcel that an industrialist created for himself, Uribe says. “He created this whole hook, and he built this fantastic house and had it as entertainment, a party palace for all his friends.”
The Matheson family sold in the middle of the 20th century as Key Biscayne was being developed. Sadly, the early 20th-century Mashta House is no more. It has been replaced by a simple, rectangular five-story, with six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, built in 1991. The house has marble floors and a pared down, Latin American feel. There are no fancy columns or architectural flourishes to distract from the fantastic views. Uribe says a buyer might slice off the roof and convert the home to the contemporary style that is in vogue with luxury buyers these days.
In recent years the home has been a luxury rental, renting most recently for $50,000 per month. The Latin American owners are selling because they haven’t used it for several years, and because the timing is good since the market has recovered, Uribe said. Miami-Dade public records list the property owners as Pitu Inc.