A three-bedroom villa on Florida’s Melody Key draws its power form solar panels, draws its water from the sea – and it includes its own private island. According to a report by Bloomberg it is offered with Engel and Völkers for $6.9 million, it is owned by French-born, Dubai-based, real estate developer Blaise Carroz, who decided to buy his own island.
“Since I was a kid, I dreamed of owning an island. And it was the perfect spot for family vacations.”
Melody Key is a small patch of land in the Florida Keys. The island has about three acres of walkable land and an equal amount of submerged land. The 3,500-square-foot main villa features three bedrooms and three full baths, kitchen, large living room, and elevator servicing all three floors. The property also has a freshwater pool and an outbuilding that stores the island’s kayaks, sailboats, and snorkel equipment. Because of the shallowness of the island, the maximum size of a boat is 35 feet, Carroz said. Travel time from island to shore, where there’s a dedicated parking spot for the island, is about 10 minutes.
“It’s not like you can hire a big yacht in Miami and come down and moor the boat there for a few days.”
While the island seems like a slice of paradise, Carroz said it also is life off the grid.
“We produce our own power with solar panels, and our water is taken from the sea with our desalination system. There’s a backup generator, and the island is proofed for storms. When you live there, you’re a new-age Robinson Crusoe.”
However, if you shell out the asking price, be prepared. Carroz noted that Melody Key doesn’t quite run itself.
“Just like if you own a car, you have to maintain it. But it’s not a big deal, as long as you take it seriously.”
And taking it seriously includes staffing a full-time caretaker for the island to handle equipment and shuttle guests back and forth. Aside from the caretaker’s salary, Carroz said monthly maintenance costs ran from $2,000 to $3,000 monthly—about $30,000 a year. (Property tax for the island isn’t included.) But selling the island wasn’t in his plans when he purchased it. Life has a funny way of changing plans.
“I now have five children, and it became a bit small for us. When I purchased the island, it wasn’t from a professional point of view. Selling it for a profit wasn’t my aim at all.”
Once he sells, will a bigger island be on his watch list? Carroz says he isn’t so sure.
“I’m not planning to purchase another island. But I have a lot of other projects.”