BY LINDA MARX | PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAN FORER
Developer Gil Dezer’s Sunny Isles Beach condo has a Porsche on the wall and a bathroom designed to feel like the inside of an egg. Come on in
After viewing the interior of his 8,000-square-foot, three-floor oceanfront condominium in Trump Royale on Sunny Isles Beach, it’s easy to understand why developer Gil Dezer has created the new Porsche Design Tower, a residential skyscraper designed by the Porsche Design Studio.
Dezer’s love for automobiles is illustrated in the entry of his own home, where a 1950s Porsche Spyder 550, the same model car that actor James Dean died in, hangs directly on the wall. This kind of startling display gets his constant flow of dinner guests revved up. “The Porsche and other cars are Gil’s vision of art,” says Dezer’s interior designer, Michael Wolk. “He simply loves them.”
Dezer, who owns more than 17 Porsches and dozens of other cool cars, hauled the Porsche into his home so he could see it every time he departs, then again when he returns. “Getting the Porsche installed in Gil’s condo was a major engineering feat,” recalls Wolk. “But we did it.”
Since Dezer told Wolk that he wanted a dramatic entryway to his 5-bedroom, 6 -bath home, mounting the Porsche on the wall was a natural move for the developer. “The car is so beautiful,” Dezer says. “I love cars—and that car—I had one of them! To me, art is cars. I’m a construction guy, so time and materials are important. I believe art is a beautiful auto. It is functioning and dynamic to me.”
Dezer’s stunning condo, with its emphasis on contemporary looks and clean lines, even served as an inspiration for his development of the 60-story Porsche Design Tower, which features an automated car elevator system called the Dezervator. (Owners in the tower can have their cars transported up to their personal residence’s garage.) As president of Dezer Properties and a successful developer of luxury high-rise residential and condo-hotel properties in Sunny Isles and around the US, Dezer knows what he likes and isn’t afraid to go the extra mile.
When guests enter Dezer’s Trump Royale condo, they can see a glass walkway that floats above the living area doors and leads to the bedroom. (Dezer can walk the stairs or take his stunning glass elevator while maneuvering around his home.) There is no obstruction with concrete, so the private area is open and clean like living in a dream. With the dramatic entryway and high ceilings—16 feet with a 26-foot pop-up—Wolk decided to use the bottom floor as an open foyer, living room, and dining and entertaining space. “This area flows,” says Wolk. “It’s great because Gil entertains a lot and wanted a space to support that. The walls are ivory, the main floors are limestone, and there is a lot of seating area with a bar.”
Throughout the condo there’s lots of glass, wide open space, beautiful cuts of wood and sweeping ocean views. The outdoor pool is off the main floor, about five quick steps to the beach. Dezer favors a contemporary look but likes wood for warmth and its natural feeling. “The deeper, rich wood tones contrast well with the lighter walls,” says Wolk of the residence’s overall design.
Since the project combined apartments on several floors to create one grand condo, the job was intense and took about two years to complete. Naturally, Wolk ran into some challenges. But he studied different options, then tackled the project with aplomb. For example, the building is elliptical so there weren’t four square walls in every space. On the second floor, the team eliminated a kitchen, master bedroom and master bath. Wolk, also a noted furniture designer, created custom pieces for every room mixing and matching with classics.
With massive structural columns downstairs, Wolk favored a bench to separate the living and dining spaces. The former has massive windows facing the ocean. “The living room is designed to take advantage of the view,” explains Wolk. “We mixed outside colors with deeper wood tones. It’s all clean-lined, and we keep the lighting simple, shallow and recessed. At night, we illuminate the drapery.”
A high-backed couch separates the bar and conversation area in the living room allowing for more vignettes when Dezer hosts larger crowds. The dining room, the most formal space in the home, has a Swiss cheese ceiling in the Morris Lapidus style and lovely recessed lighting. Wolk designed the wood table and tobacco-colored upholstered chairs with wood legs. “The views are magnificent from the dining table,” says Dezer.
Another one-of-a-kind design in the entertaining space is Dezer’s egg-shaped powder room. The thought behind this was novel and, well, Dezeresque: “I want people to feel as if they are standing inside of an egg,” he says. Wolk explains that he was given this space with two rounded walls in which to work his magical design and Dezer insisted upon an egg. “Gil wanted this design continued all the way around so floor to ceiling would become an egg,” says Wolk, who quips that Dezer always “wants more.” The sink basin looks like half of a hard-boiled egg white, and the Toto toilet is also egg-shaped. Both of these fixtures and the shelf are white but for the yolk. “Everyone loves this powder room because it is so unique, like they are walking inside of an egg,” marvels Dezer. “I liked the room at first glance, but it was just an oval. The powder room is now perfect.”
The contemporary kitchen has stainless steel hoods and appliances; a frosted green glass island with bar stools stretches around the room. Granite countertops and a full granite backsplash add another layer of clean-lined beauty. And then there are those magnificent ocean views.
For quiet time, Dezer has a super cool bedroom-bathroom suite. To find the second-floor bedroom with its perfect wood floors, the team created the glass bridge-walkway. Dezer wanted a large area in his master suite space for his bath and closet, plus a bench for sitting. The electric glass doors—either frosted or clear with a green tint, depending on the time of day—lend it the look of a smart international spa suite. In the bathroom, dramatic steps lead into the whirlpool. A shower is lined with glass mosaic, a limestone floor and a bidet. Two sets of consoles with functional basins and lots of space ensure that so no one is stepping on anyone else. And the end result is perfection. “This was a great collaboration,” says Wolk. “You know you’ve done a good job when Gil got what he wanted and I got to do what I like.”
As Dezer puts it, “I love this apartment and will live here forever. And that’s coming from someone who builds apartments and can live anywhere.”