Most New Med Revival Architecture is Horrible, but the Most Expensive House in FTL is New and Really Beautifully Done

This baronial pile, called Bella Fortuna, is close to Downtown Fort Lauderdale and on the market for $39 million, and—rather extraordinarily and sadly rare for a new build these days—the Mediterranean Revival architecture of this place is gorgeous. It’s also the most expensive house currently on the market in Fort Lauderdale. But check out these 150 photos for the grand tour and decide for yourself.

But first, my judgment: the classical proportions are elegant, the materials are right, and most of the details are just great (although I might have done something slightly different with the living room ceiling inlay, but that’s just splitting hairs at this point). It’s a great house. The grand staircase, the grounds, the tilework, the colonnades, the neoclassical marble bathroom, and most of the ceilings, are just epic.

Think about how many hideous strip malls and suburban tract ‘villas’ you’ve seen with barrel tiles and Home Depot balustrades slapped willy-nilly on a poured concrete barn, then picture the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Vizcaya, and the grand estates designed by Addison Mizner in Palm Beach, all of which are approximately 100 years old, and then look at this house, and just consider the difference.

Oh, and the broker’s press release, which has some additional interesting information in case you’re interested, is at the bottom.


Former Season One Apprentice and Hot Listings Miami Star Katrina Campins of Katrina Campins Group is the exclusive representative for the sale of the incredible Bella Fortuna Estate, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The highly coveted property is listed at $39 million, making this the most expensive listing in Fort Lauderdale at this time.

The exquisite property, located in the Las Olas Isles, is a new construction five-bedroom, 11-bathroom classical Venetian masterpiece with 27 rooms in total and an elevator. The property is surrounded by 750 linear feet of prime Fort Lauderdale waterfront on “Millionaire’s Row” where a daily parade of yachts is on display 365 days a year. The estate was built on a rare double point lot with water frontage on three sides, allowing for privacy and amazing panoramic wide water view on one’s very own peninsula. The previous home on the estate belonged to Pam Huizenga, who is the daughter of Wayne Huizenga. After demolishing the Huizenga home, the current owner first raised the land on the one-acre lot prior to building the new 17,500-square-foot mansion. The resulting new home is of the highest quality and designed to be a timeless beauty. It also features a 350-foot concrete dock, which can accommodate the largest possible mega yacht.

The owner also wanted to withstand any kind of weather and took the precaution of using solid poured concrete for not only the walls but also the roof slabs. No expense was spared to ensure that this magnificent edifice would remain standing tall, proud and dry no matter what.

The finishes are fit for royalty. The terrazzo floors installed by craftsmen from Italy are the same as in the grand estates of the Veneto. The carved shellstone window and door frames, foyer cladding, exterior sconces and gate pillar griffins are just one of the classy touches.  The faux painting was done –- and signed in each room — by Leonard Pardon, whose work adorns Buckingham palace as well as castles in the Sultanates of Oman and Brunei and are deemed works of “national cultural significance” that cannot be tampered in the Sultanates.

While the 17,500-square-foot home has formal elements such as a dining room with adjoining butler’s pantry and library, it has a very relaxed and welcoming feel and is unbelievably easy to maintain.

This trophy property has been the recipient of over 13 awards, including the prestigious Addison Mizner Award for Classical Architecture, along with 10 awards from the CASF (Craftsman Association of South Florida). This is the only home in Fort Lauderdale designed by architect Jeffrey W. Smith of Smith Architectural Group. A Jeffery Smith-designed Palm Beach estate was recently listed for $105 million. The expansive Bella Fortuna estate was decorated by Bunny Williams of New York, who has helped furnish and adorn several world-class homes in Palm Beach.

The owner observes, “I wanted to build something classy and timeless that looks like it could have been built in Renaissance Venice but has all the comforts and protections and structural advances of being brand new.”

Katrina Campins stated, “After 20 years in the real estate industry working at the highest level, the award-winning intricate architectural components of Bella Fortuna surpass those of any estate that I’ve seen in my career.”

Fort Lauderdale has become a fast and growing market just north of Miami and south of Palm Beach. The city is known as the “Yachting Capital of the World” and the “Venice of America” and annually hosts the largest boat show in the world, namely, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. Fort Lauderdale has been experiencing a development boom because it offers better value compared to its neighbors to the immediate south (Miami) and north (Palm Beach). There are too many superlatives to list all, but Fort Lauderdale has been consistently ranked among top 10 U.S. cities for real estate activity, real estate appreciation, quality of downtown, livability, employment growth, start-up activity, aerospace, etc.

The prime Las Olas Isles neighborhood is the most desired location in the City due to being steps to Fort Lauderdale Beach as well as to well-known Las Olas Boulevard in the heart of Fort Lauderdale


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