PINECREST (CBSMiami) – A year ago, developer Frank Mendez was featured on Living Large.
He showed us a two-story home with nine bedrooms and 11 ½ bathrooms on two acres. It was, well, amazing.
In October, Heat superstar Dion Waiters ponied up $7.4 million for the Pinecrest mega-mansion. The most money anyone has ever paid for a Pinecrest home.
“We have been very fortunate that our product has been in the forefront of establishing value and establishing the market value for the entire Pinecrest area,” Mendez told CBS4.
Mendez’s company, Pioneer Inter-Development, has repeatedly broken sales records for Pinecrest. He brags that he has literally set the market.
The process is simple. He buys up lots, tears down old homes and turns properties from boring to wow. Moreover, his buyers love it.
“It feels like very much living in a resort,” Debra Taylor told CBS4.
Debra Taylor and her husband, Trevor, bought the lot in 2013. They moved in two years later.
“Your home, you really don’t want to leave your home, or even your kitchen!” Taylor said with a big smile.
The Taylors home is bright, green and comes with an authentic high tech clay tennis court. It tracks your every move.
Expensive homes like the one the Taylors own are typically found on the water. What is unusual is Mendez is selling them in Pinecrest.
Trevor Taylor explained it was the land, location and schools that sold him.
“In terms of Miami, Pinecrest is one of the only places you can get substantial value in the land in my opinion,” he said.
If land is king, Pinecrest has a lot of it.
“It’s value, value, value,” Mendez said.
Still, the prices Mendez is getting is unusual.
Realtors in the area point out while one Heat player is paying a record $7.4 million, former Heat players can’t sell their homes for half that.
Lamar Odom bought his Pinecrest mansion for $3 million in 2003. He listed it for $5.2 million in April but has not found a buyer. The price is now down to $3.8 million.
And former Miami Heat center Chris Andersen, aka Birdman, bought a Pinecrest mansion in 2013 for $3 million. Listed this year at $4.5 million, the price has dropped to $3.9 million. It still has not sold.
Mendez believes it’s apples and oranges. Standard homes versus his mega-mansions are not on the same playing field.
“The main difference is architecture. The design. We create it in our product. It’s different then what everyone else is doing,” he said.
So far it’s working. The Taylors love their home so much they are building another one with Mendez. Bigger, better and, of course, in Pinecrest.
“For us I think it was where do you want to raise your kids,” Trevor Taylor said.
The Taylors home is not for sale just yet, but when they do list, they estimated it will be more than $8 million. That would be another sales record.