The tiny Florida hamlet of Vero Beach may still be under-the-radar, but it’s had a surprisingly high-profile history. A few generations back, Vero Beach was where US Space Program astronauts went to relax on their days off. Then in the late 1980s, Canada’s billionaire Weston family built Windsor, a luxuriously beautiful planned community built under the principles of New Modernism. The development lured large numbers of the global elite, including King Charles III, who played polo there in 1989.
Now Vero Beach is having a new moment in the sun, attracting a fresh generation of deep-pocketed buyers who love its small-town feel and beachside location. The arrivals are naturally pushing up property prices, often to record levels. In 2021, an oceanfront estate sold in Vero for $27 million—setting a community record. It was one of four sales above $10 million in Vero that year, followed by three more in 2022 in this community sitting 75 miles north of Palm Beach.
Into the mix comes a record-breaker of potentially paradigm-shifting proportions: a beachfront compound that recently hit the market for a whopping $60 million. Set on a 2.5-acre parcel of waterfront, the home is aptly named Villa Paradiso; it’s currently under construction and will take at least another year to complete.
The property includes a series of buildings anchored around a 15,000-square-foot main house, which leads to 150 feet of Atlantic-front footage. The prime water access is a key component of what initially lured developers Nathan Saks (who owns the land) and Victor Hernandez to the site. “Nathan was drawn to this particular property because of the unspoiled natural raw beauty of the ocean front, which truly sets it apart,” explained Hernandez, founder of Haute & Boss, a Florida-based construction design and management company.
At a time when climate change and shore erosion have never been greater concerns, “the beach here is accreting, replenishing itself naturally each year,” Hernandez adds, “which is exceptionally rare in oceanfront sites and very desirable for the long-term resilience and protection of the home.”
Whether or not it actually fetches that $60 million figure, the estate certainly sets a new standard for design and grandeur in Vero. The main house will feature seven full bedrooms, leading to a two-bedroom guest house. There’s also a leisure pavilion packed with a spa, a steam room, a juice bar and a bijoux plunge pool. It’s one of three total pools, including a 75-foot lap pool and a primary pool, which faces the beach.
The entire estate will be built 25 feet above sea level at the ocean’s closest point, explained Saks and Hernandez, which is the highest elevation permitted in Vero Beach.
“This unique attribute not only protects the striking estate but enriches the surrounding vistas of water and landscape and enhances privacy,” Saks said.
Within the home, the developers are taking a globally inspired, tropical-luxe approach to the design aesthetic. In the main home, for instance, the entryway will be accented by a reflecting pool filled with water flowing 15-foot-long, hand-carved Yangtze-stone slabs. There’s also a skylight that runs for a full 100 feet along the entire length of the home. Within the sprawling primary suite, there’s a 450-square foot spa-like bathroom, a morning kitchen and its own lounge.
There will also be a 600-square-foot home theater/screening room, a wine cellar big enough for 1,400 bottles and and a pair of elevators. Outside, throughout the lengthy lot, the elegantly designed landscaping will provide cover for a bar, a fireplace, a pizza oven and an alfresco kitchen and a handful of breezy lounging zones. The grounds will be overseen, Saks says, by Swiss-based Enzo Enea Landscape Architecture, with architecture firm Choeff Levy Fischman responsible for the estate’s overal design.
With its impressive size and prime location in Vero Beach’s coveted “estates” section, Villa Paradiso will likely set a new area record—even if it doesn’t hit its listing price. “Properties that provide this level of privacy and exclusivity are extremely scarce, and demand has been consistently aligned with Florida’s high profile, high-net worth growth,” Hernandez said. Over the course of the pandemic, “Vero Beach has become a highly appealing place to live,” Hernandez added. “The city’s general attitude toward limiting growth will never allow it to become an over-congested metropolis. Yet, it still has all the ‘big city’ perks of top restaurants, shopping and entertainment venues.”