2 Bay Colony Drive
2 Bay Colony Drive ()

Renewed interest in Fort Lauderdale luxury homes helped drive Bay Colony’s biggest deal in months.

A sprawling 9,226-square-foot waterfront estate at 2 Bay Colony Drive changed hands in a $5.45 million deal.

The mansion had been on the market for about six months before Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate took over the listing last July and secured a buyer in December.

“Properties in this price range—$5 million plus—weren’t moving very much in Fort Lauderdale,” broker Gilles Rais said. “We hadn’t had any sales here as high as this in the last two years. In Fort Lauderdale, we haven’t had any sales around $5 million in the last few months.”

But that might be changing, according to the latest Elliman Report, a quarterly survey of residential sales. Luxury properties in Fort Lauderdale are selling faster than they did about a year ago, spending about seven fewer weeks on the market. And trades like this one, at about $560 per square foot, are the result of Fort Lauderdale’s growing competitiveness.

“Miami is getting more expensive and Fort Lauderdale more attractive,” Rais said. “You get a lot more for your money here in the same price range.”

This two-story house called Casa Fortuna took three years to build from 2006 to 2009 after owner Michael A. Gagliardi Jr. combined two parcels in the gated community across from The Landings off Bay View Drive.

It includes several flourishes, including European finishes, ornate ceilings, six bedrooms, nine baths, his-and-her dressing rooms, chef’s kitchen with Subzero appliances, an executive office overlooking a pool, a home theater with remote-controlled curtains and kitchenette, a wine room built to hold 2,000 bottles, and a four-car garage with wooden floors and air conditioning.

The sale price included $450,000 for equipment and handcrafted custom-made Italian furniture by Armando Rho.

But in a price range with little activity, the Coldwell Banker team needed strategic marketing tactics to draw buyers.

When the house first went to market about a year ago, it listed for $6.5 million. By the time Rais took over its marketing, the asking price was $5.9 million.

The broker, who saw an opportunity to attract globetrotting buyers at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, arranged a twilight tour complete with a $2.5 million yacht docked behind the estate. Part of the goal was to show that not even a large boat would obstruct views along the house’s 280 feet of waterfront.

The estate sold Dec. 31 to Cypress Creek Property Investment LLC, which has title managers in the British Virgin Island of Tortola.