Where Is The Nicest Beach In Florida

Now, Ms. Goldentayer, a real-estate agent, and her husband, Ilya Panchernikov, managing director of his family’s Caviar Russe business, own two homes on the Venetian Islands section of Miami Beach. In 2019 they bought a 4,500-square-foot, four-bedroom, five-bathroom house with a pool for $1.925 million on Di Lido Island and spent about $1 million renovating it. Then, in September, they paid $8.9 million for a Mediterranean-style, 5,000-square-foot, six-bedroom, 5½-bathroom waterfront home on San Marino Island, and are planning what they estimate will be a $2 million renovation.

Ms. Goldentayer sits in the living area of the 4,500-square-foot, four-bedroom, five-bathroom house the couple bought for $1.925 million in 2019.

Photo: Alfonso Duran for the Wall Street Journal

“Miami Beach exemplifies the American hustle,” says Ms. Goldentayer. “I feel that I do, too.”

Miami is currently the second most expensive residential real-estate market after New York, according to RealtyHop’s October 2021’s housing-affordability index, a result of people moving there because of its balmy weather, lack of state income or estate tax and resistance to Covid-related mandates.

The Miami Beach area has been particularly explosive, with the mean sales price at $550,000, up 47% so far this year compared with the same period a year ago, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. Prices are now more than three times the median home price there a decade ago.

As crime and partying have spread in the South Beach area of Miami Beach, many of the wealthy have moved from the Art Deco district, first to the South of Fifth section and then west to the Venetian Islands, a series of artificial islands connected by bridge between Miami Beach and Miami’s mainland.

That also has been Ms. Goldentayer’s projection. “When I moved to Miami, Lincoln Road was the place to be,” she says, referring to the outdoor mall filled with shops and restaurants.

She kept her two-bedroom, two-bathroom Art Deco townhouse when she moved out in 2009 and now rents it out for $2,700 a month. She then rented a 1,600-square-foot, one-bedroom in a luxury oceanfront condominium building called the Continuum in the South of Fifth area. “I felt like I’d made it,” she says. She had switched careers in 2005 from cocktail waitress to real-estate agent and wanted to live “where the hot real estate was happening.”

Mr. Panchernikov and Ms. Goldentayer by their pool.

Photo: Alfonso Duran for the Wall Street Journal

She met Mr. Panchernikov, 37, at a wedding in St. Barts in 2014. They bonded in part over their common experience of immigrating to the U.S. as children, she as a 7-year-old from Moldova to Baltimore, and he as a 6-year-old from Ukraine to Brooklyn.

When he met Ms. Goldentayer, Mr. Panchernikov was living in New York, where he grew up.  After college, he lived in a series of 10 rental apartments, starting in the financial district and making his way up to Murray Hill, running his family’s caviar-import business and its Caviar Russe restaurant on Madison Avenue in Midtown. 

“I thought I’d be living in New York the rest of my life,” he says. Moving to Miami in 2014 was a tough adjustment, but he has slowed his “hustle and bustle” pace and learned to appreciate the light and space, he says.

The exterior of the house the couple renovated.

Photo: Alfonso Duran for The Wall Street Journal

An overhaul of the home’s landscaping cost roughly $100,000.

Photo: Alfonso Duran for the Wall Street Journal

In 2015, the couple bought a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,600-square-foot condo in a four-unit building in the South of Fifth neighborhood for $1.4 million. In 2016, Caviar Russe opened a restaurant in the Four Seasons Miami.

They sold their condo in 2019 for $1.575 million and made the move to the Venetian Islands, buying the four-bedroom on Di Lido Island. The $1 million renovation was used to make the home’s interior more contemporary. They put in a modern Italkraft kitchen with black-veined marble and Miele and Wolf appliances for a cost of about $100,000. They also switched out terrazzo floors for white oak (for about $100,000), added louvers to the terrace off the main bedroom (about $50,000) and created a walk-in closet out of what was an office (around $80,000). Outside, an overhaul of the home’s landscaping cost roughly $100,000.

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