Small but Perfectly Formed

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Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty visits a spectacular Fort Lauderdale home that offers many of the attractions of a multi-million dollar waterside mansion but without the multi-million dollar price tag.

There is an area along the Fort Lauderdale intracoastal network known locally as Billionaires Row. Along its length exceptionally wealthy people can show off their exceptional wealth in a very public way with beautiful houses and docks for beautiful yachts. This, after all, is the motor-yachting capital of the world.

But what if one doesn’t have exceptional wealth or even unexceptional wealth – which in Fort Lauderdale can still be quite a lot! The answer is 817 Ponce De Leon Drive in the desirable Rio Vista Isles area close to oh so smart Las Olas. This is a pocket masterpiece by the noted architect Lester Avery. In the modernist style it has been refashioned inside to provide a hot, icy-cool interior.

Out back is a private, palm-tree-shaded oasis with pool for relaxing and entertaining: beyond that is the dock. Now I am not suggesting that you can moor a 200 ft super-yacht here, or even any sized yacht for that matter. You will be limited to a very small craft. But perhaps one very pointy in the bow and with an enormous engine at the stern – the nearby bridges that cross the canal leading to the ocean are rather low. But, as a wise old boatman once said to me, the smaller the boat the more fun the users will have!

So here is the Fort Lauderdale house that has everything – in miniature. Everything, that is, save for a massive property tax bill and water-borne passers-by watching while you and your friends and family try and enjoy the hot tub. For more privacy at a fifth of the price of Billionaires Row – where rebuilding your seawall alone will cost upwards of $1000 per ft – this will do very nicely indeed.

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