Northeast Florida’s pristine beaches are accompanied by plentiful scenic views, and oceanfront homes are equally beautiful. One such property, at 39 Ocean Club Drive in Fernandina Beach, broke the sales record across the five counties covered by the Northeast Florida multi-list service.
The nine-bedroom, 8.5-bathroom home, located on the Amelia Island Plantation, sold for $10,550,000 on June 1, breaking the previous record set by the sale of a Ponte Vedra Beach home in December.
Designed by the esteemed late architect, John Cotner of Cotner & Associates, and built in 2005, the 11,875-square-foot villa is a modern take on the most enviable Italian architectural style. According to Joe Cutajar of First Coast Sotheby’s International Realty—who co-listed the house with colleague, Kim Richardson—the seller asked Cotner to design a home as a family retreat.
“When she built it, she was looking forward to creating an old property for her extended family to enjoy and they have done so for many years,” Cutajar said. “When the home was approved, each subgroup of the seller’s family had time allotted for their final visits at the home.”
Designed by Merlene Bryant of Chestnut Street Interiors (based in Southern California), the home is a treasure trove of luxurious details. Handcrafted walnut columns and beams open into a large room with floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping ocean views, other highlights include a four-storey high spiral staircase, eye-catching mosaic backsplash in the chef’s kitchen, and fifth-floor mushrooms with views 360-degree Amelia Island and full wet bar, plus first floor game room and state-of-the-art wine cellar.
Featuring five master suites, all with ocean views and large walk-in wardrobes, the home was clearly intended for entertaining – and spending plenty of time with the family.
Cutajar noted that the entire third floor of the house is dedicated to space for family members. A dedicated ladder leading from the children’s area on the third floor also allowed the grandchildren to easily reach their grandmother on the fourth floor.
In addition, the second floor was intended for family gatherings, including meal preparation, dining, games and watching sports.
This space is anchored by the huge Tuscan-inspired kitchen, equipped with enough sophisticated appliances to easily prepare a gourmet feast for 20 people or an intimate dinner for two. Equipped with a large 6-burner Viking range with tray, La Cucina It also includes two full-size refrigerators and Sub-Zero freezers, a Hoshizaki ice maker, Bosch dishwashers, an additional wall oven with built-in microwave and two sinks.
Finishing the space are chiseled granite countertops, plus custom cabinets and drawers that close easily.
The spiral shape of nautilus rooms is a theme found in many parts of the house, from the impressive staircase to the unique kitchen backsplash. A marketing brochure for the home notes that the goal was to “simulate the growth of the family and the legacy of the home.”
Also on the second floor is a gorgeous outdoor living area, with a double infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and a serene boardwalk that leads onto a serene stretch of beach. Other structural features include an Otis commercial grade lift and a four-car garage. An additional golf cart garage will be beneficial to new owners, as the home is located within a few hundred feet of the Amelia Island Club and world-class golf courses.
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Buyers were represented by Alison Steilberg of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty.
“After living in Jacksonville for seven years, they loved the idea of a resort community with great amenities and very close to town, but in a very lush location and privacy,” Steilberg said. “They are looking forward to exploring Amelia Island and enjoying their lovely new home.”
Described by Cutajar as “a stunning architect but so much more,” Kuttner died in March, shortly before the house was held. In a video created by First Coast Sotheby’s to help market the home, the architect spoke to the original owner’s vision.
“She wanted to create an environment in which the family could gather,” Kuttner said in the video. “The family had been coming to Amelia Island since the kids were young. It was a special place for them, a sanctuary, and they wanted to accommodate every member of the family.”
Cotner said the goal wasn’t just to focus on aesthetic issues, but to create something durable and full of structural integrity. Built primarily of reinforced concrete and masonry, the well-maintained house achieved this goal.
Cotner notes in the video that the home is the first of its size to include all of the shock-rated materials, as well as an energy-efficient geothermal heating and cooling system. He added that all of these features were made for very practical reasons – not just extravagance.
Cutajar agreed, noting that despite the luxury, the home was “not pretentious, but comfortable and easy to enjoy.”
“I think the buyers felt the same magic,” he said.