Fisher Island: Exclusive is an Understatement
The private island boasts some of the priciest real estate in the country
Secluded Fisher Island, plainly visible from the main island of Miami Beach, but accessible only by boat, helicopter and a seven-minute ferry ride, regularly pops up on lists of the wealthiest ZIP codes in the nation, which is no surprise to Miami locals. The sought-after address has this aura, this mystique, around it. Those five coveted numbers, 33109, landed Fisher Island at No. 5, in 2021, according to Property Shark, with a bump up to No. 4 in 2022. Its median home sale price in 2022 was $5,200,000.
“Fisher Island is so exclusive that its homeowners—there are around 800 residences—are members of the island’s private club. Listings are rare, but they do happen,” says Casa Collection principal Marco Tiné. “And when something becomes available, you have to ready to act quickly.”
It’s not like you can keep developing Fisher Island, which is known for such developments as Palazzo Del Sol and Palazzo Del Mare. Some of the last remaining developable parcels recently sold for a combined $13 million in the summer of 2022. The lots at 1003 and 1004 on Links Estate Drive feature 15,949 square feet and 15,670 square feet of land, respectively.
The other big news: The island’s final condo project, 6 Fisher Island, will offer 50 waterfront units and is expected to break real estate records on the island: $5,000 per square foot.
The accidental creation of the luxurious 216-acre manmade island happened out of necessity. According to Fisher Island Club’s website, “In 1905, Miami received government permission to cut through the barrier island known today as Miami Beach. The cut was created to provide direct access from the Atlantic Ocean to the Miami seaport, thus creating what would become Fisher Island.”
The island was named for real estate developer and automotive entrepreneur Carl Fisher, who owned the island for a time, purchasing it from South Florida’s first black millionaire, Dana Dorsey. Fisher was an early developer and evangelist of Miami Beach who helped push the city’s infrastructure into the twentieth century.
The island was then owned by William Kissam Vanderbilt II—in 1927, he traded a 265-foot yacht named the “Eagle” to Fisher to obtain seven acres of the island—then it changed hands several times before the island was slated for development in the 1980s. Today’s ubiquitous 1920’s-style Spanish-style architecture is a nod to the early mansions that dotted the island when it was owned by one illustrious family after another.
Though most of the residences are vacation homes, 30% of residents live on Fisher Island year-round. All enjoy the pristine private beaches, seven restaurants and lounges, more than 100 boat slips on two marinas, and the Links Golf Course—a P.B. Dye-designed 9-hole, 3100-yard long, par 35 course. Tennis lovers will gravitate to the 17 lighted tennis courts (two grass, three Deco Cushion hard, five European red clay, and seven Har-Tru clay); there are also four pickleball courts.
The island enjoys the infrastructure and services of a small town: It has its own UHealth Medical Clinic, fire and rescue station, pre-K through eighth-grade school, car wash, dry cleaners, mail facility, playground and dog park. Most owners putter around in golf carts, giving the locale the feeling of a fantasy resort. Prices range from $2 million to $40 million.