In the ludicrous world of South Beach real estate, where affluence trumps reason and an ocean view means nothing without an infinity pool, few things raise much of a stir. Except, perhaps, this.
Local millionaire Russel Galbut is building a 17,000-square-foot apartment atop a parking garage that sits along Alton Road in South of Fifth. It's ostentation. It's status. It's South Beach.
The Galbut Manor will account for the top three levels of the seven-story parking garage, which will be "robotic." (We, too, had no idea what this meant and had to look it up. It means an intricate elevator system nestles cars like sardines inside the building. Apparently, Galbut tells us, "It's very Manhattan.")
Now, you might think 17,000 square feet is a lot of room to romp. Those assumptions, however, would be wrong.
"It's not actually that big," says Galbut, who's amassed much of his fortune through Miami Beach real estate. "Once you account for the racquetball courts and all of the terraces, you really don't have that much space left over... Still, there's really no apartment of that size in South Beach -- especially the South of Fifth area."
With that location, one would perhaps fret over where to park one's Mercedes. But Galbut has no need for such concern, pointing out that his posh pad will have a personal car elevator for himself.
His office will overlook the robotic garage pulling and swinging cars to and fro, which prompted exMiami to describe Galbut as "fascinated" with such parking mechanics. Galbut, however, says that characterization isn't accurate. "It's not some fetish or anything," he says of his apparent affinity for robotic parking garages. "But they're really to be admired and credited."
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Two restaurants -- Radio Bar and Red Ginger -- are set to inhabit the building's first floor. And though Galbut declined to specify how much money he has spent to build his mansion, he says the restaurants and parking inside will more than pay for it.
The apartment will be completed by the end of next year -- and, yes, it comes with an infinity pool.