Howard Hughes' legacy moves local builder into upscale market
By Susan Stabley
A handful of secluded lots in a Coconut Grove cove named after eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes has been scooped up by Lowell Homes for its first luxury project.
Hughes Cove borrows its name from the unconventional industrialist, aviator and movie producer who owned property along Biscayne Bay's waters, said historian and author Arva Moore Parks. Hughes died in 1976 with an estimated $2 billion estate and 400 prospective heirs vying for a piece of it.
Today the Miami property is part of a private gated community of about 25 multi-million-dollar homes under 24-hour security and is hidden off Devon Road. Lowell Homes bought five remaining lots and has one more under option from attorney Matt Gorson, said President Larry Kahn, who declined to divulge the price.
"We couldn't pass the opportunity," he said. "It was the right fit in an existing community."
Mr. Kahn she he had been looking for the right project for the company's new luxury home division.
"We're calling it our Masterpiece Division," said Lani Kahn Drody, Lowell Homes' senior vice president and Mr. Kahn's daughter. "It's something my father and I always wanted to do. We've been quietly looking for the right opportunity."
Ms. Kahn Drody started out marketing and selling luxury waterfront properties. "I've always been very interested in upper-end homes," she said.
Lowell Homes is a self-described mid-sized builder with single- and multi-family home projects throughout the tri-county area, averaging 200 to 250 houses yearly.
Starting at $1.7 million and up, the homes at Hughes Cove will be much more expensive than past projects by Lowell, which has created houses from the low $100,000s in Homestead to mid-$300,000s in Miramar and Cooper City, Ms. Kahn Drody said.
Lowell executives will meet with an architect next week to seek plans for the first house. Construction could begin within three to four months and be finished in a year, Ms. Kahn Drody said.
Ms. Kahn Drody said Lowell is still in the "baby stages" and is not aggressively marketing the project yet but will place any interested parties on a priority list for the lots sized from 9,500 to 10,000 square feet. The lots, purchased at the end of September, are next to each other.
The father-and-daughter team had been looking for the right project for the past year, she said.
"It's a rare opportunity to find several lots tucked away in a highly desirable area of Coconut Grove," Ms. Kahn Drody said. "It has the feeling of very old Miami in a wonderfully secluded place."