This Miami Beach luxury home has almost everything — including seven bedrooms and 13 bathrooms with 14,060 square feet of space to spread out in. It has a glorious entrance and water views from all sides, with every room having large windows to take it all in.
But wait, there’s more. The home also includes a gym and spa, office, chef kitchen, entertaining areas, marble wine cellar, 88-foot-long cascading infinity-edge pool/jacuzzi, outdoor kitchen, and fire pit. It is fully furnished with fine pieces imported from Italy.
This home is not just packed, it is also smart, with a full Crestron Home control system providing access to the whole-home audio system, dozens of automated shades, temperature, lighting, and more. Plus, there is a home theater with a Theory Audio Design system and a Sony projector.
So, what is this $75 million property missing? Just one thing — an owner.
The Luxury Builder Connection
For Al Reinhard, owner of AHT Global, this is not an unusual situation, and he regularly works with the builder of this home whose MO is to build extremely luxurious smart homes on spec and then get the price he asks.
“I’ve been working with this client for close to ten years,” says Reinhard. “He builds at an exceptional level and does not skimp. Where most spec builders will put in regular switches, won’t do shades, and do very little planning for audio and video, he creates a complete turnkey product. When it comes to this particular project, it’s full Crestron control throughout — including keypads, shading, and AV distribution through DM NAX and DM NVX. So, everything’s done.”
And while it may seem strange for someone to invest that much money into a house they had no input on, in Miami that kind of purchase plays right into the lifestyle. “Building this house was a three-to-four-year project,” says Reinhard. “People with this amount of money don’t have that kind of time — they want it here and they want it now.”
While most of the trades disappear before the client buys in, as with most jobs, the custom integrator remains. AHT Global will be there to show the new homeowner how everything works and remains on-call for any needed adjustments or customization.
“At a minimum, we have to set them up on the Crestron Home app, so we’re definitely meeting the client — or sometimes it is the client’s team,” says Reinhard. “They may have some specific IT needs, for example, and want to add a special router. I prefer that we keep our network intact so we can monitor and service it, but we’ll just layer their network for any special needs on top of ours.
“Basically, we’ll personalize the Creston Home system to them if necessary. Typically, it’s more about sources more than anything else. It’s all set up for any source they could want, but we leave extra space in the racks for anything additional they may want to add.”
Building the Budget
Although there is no homeowner yet, working with the builder brings up some of the same issues — particularly when it comes to the budget.
“We do the proposal and it’s obviously more than he ever wants to spend, so we go through the process,” says Reinhard. “Maybe we’ll cut some things out, but at the end of the day, it usually winds up where we originally put it. Of course, it’s not only our budget, but everyone’s budget coming in at the same time — the electrician, the plumber — it can be quite overwhelming when you see all these numbers.”
A good part of that budget went into shades for the window-laden home — hundreds of thousands of dollars of shades. All the shades are from Crestron, and all are built into a soffit in the ceiling so that, when rolled up, they are completely hidden. This was particularly difficult to do in the home theater area, as the space was tight and includes drapery in addition to roller shades.
Interestingly enough, the home theater is the one area where the builder did not go all out. “In South Florida, especially Miami, there’s not a lot of people that do theaters in their homes,” explains Reinhard. “It’s really not a thing here, so the builder puts a theater in his projects, but basic — comparatively, anyway. This house has a Theory Audio system with a Sony projector, which is nice and appropriate and certainly no one’s going to be ashamed of it.”
Coordination With Trades
Though this was a large, multi-faceted project, it did not present too many challenges for AHT Global, which regularly handles jobs of this scale. The biggest hurdles came from working with the all other trades involved in the project. Fortunately, AHT was able to get in at the very start.
“The builder is very savvy, so he understands when he needs to bring us in throughout the process,” says Reinhard. “Typically, we’re being brought in right at the beginning, but we’re trying to get in even earlier than that. We want to get in at the level when an architect is first engaged. We want to be part of the architectural team.
“As far as coordination among the trades, we have our systems and we put the right people in place. It’s more about making sure that the other trades are doing the things that we need. Is the electrician wiring the panels properly for the drapery because we have to do the motorized portion? We’ll do the rollers, too, but then there’s a drapery person — do they have all the right measurements so they don’t come in we find the shades are too short or too full?”
Related: The Free-Rein Theater
Reinhard sees meeting with the electrician as early as possible to be especially important. “We like to have meetings with the electrician and explain to them all the things that are going on,” he says. “I would rather do it up front than at the end because some of these guys, they see that purple wire and they have no idea what it’s for, nor do they care. They’ll just run 120 to the fixture and then the client wants to know why nothing dims, and we give them the bad news.
“Those are the challenges — it’s more about the communication among the different trades. I think more people are recognizing how important we are in the whole process, where we used to be more of an afterthought. Now we need to be brought in at the beginning and people need to understand that we are probably more important than the electrician for the owner.”
All About Trust
According to Reinhard, the key to his relationship with this luxury builder is trust, which has been earned through years of working together.
“We’ve become friends over the years,” he says. “He calls me for advice — even design advice — because he knows I see a lot and I’m not just the low-voltage provider. I’ve become a confidant of some sort, and that’s a good place to be. When we talk, I am not trying to sell him anything — I’m trying to advise him on what’s the proper thing to do. And, when you think about it, if you ask a friend for advice, you’re probably going to take it.”
A builder not only needs to trust the integrator on a job like this — he needs to trust that the home will sell at or near the asking price. In this case, the builder is not worried — and neither is Reinhard.
Check out this exceptional home for yourself by visiting https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/98-La-Gorce-Cir-Miami-Beach-FL-33141/43879335_zpid/.