Harbor Beach:

Six secluded islands…
and quite a bit more.

Text Mary Dugan

One look at the homes lining the waterfronts of Laguna, Del Lago, or Harborage Isle Drive and you might find yourself conjuring up some bits of conversation that might be happening inside as you pass by: “Parker, get the Rolls Royce. We’re going for a little drive,” you might imagine, or perhaps “What do you mean, we are out of Beluga? Again?” 

It’s hard not to think that way when you cross over the bridge and enter this enclave of six of the most exclusive islands in Fort Lauderdale. Yes, yes… we know Harbor Beach also refers to an area that straddles Seabreeze Boulevard, but it is the islands, for the most part, that draw the lion’s share of attention. And why shouldn’t they? In this yachter’s paradise that offers the easiest access to the open ocean, the teardown reigns supreme, with 2,500 square foot homes asking, say $3 million, erased overnight… only to be replaced by 10,000 square foot megahomes with pricetags often north of $12 million. Deepwater docks of 100+ linear feet, home movie theaters, butler’s prep kitchens and wine cellars are par for the course in Harbor Beach.

Harbor Beach is arguably the finest real estate in Fort Lauderdale. This has meant a number of teardowns over the years, yet a handful of polished, Mid-Century Modern homes by architects like William T. Vaughn (above) and Alfred Browning Parker survive.

Developed later than the Las Olas Isles or Idlewyld, Harbor Beach was the concept of Cooley Judd, a realtor with visions of grandeur and, unfortunately, a realtor who believed in exclusion. Legend has it that Judd included “deed restrictions” on the purchase of his properties that excluded anyone but Caucasians from purchasing in the years just after WWII. Gladly, those days are but a distant memory and today, the only thing that will keep you out of Harbor Beach is not having a large enough bank account. This seems especially true on the furthest of the islands, Harborage Isle. A guarded, gated collection of just 16 homes, Most valued in the $7 million range with one threatening to touch the $30 million mark.

With less than 1,000 residents, buyers in Harbor Beach have private beach access and receive automatic membership to the Harbor Beach Surf Club with beach pavilion, chairs and umbrellas as well as a 16-slip, private marina.

Listings at the top of the market here hover between $10 and $19 million with one new construction home asking over $24 million. Galaxies away from the $40,000 they fetched in the early 1950s. Although technically not a part of Harbor Beach proper, there are a handful of condominium apartments available, just inches over the border on Holiday Drive. The least expensive of these is a 1,060 square foot, 9th floor unit at Maya Marca on Holiday Drive. With a stunning view of harbor beach and the Stranahan River, this 1,060 square foot unit is asking just $359,000. Imagine that. A zillion dollar view over what is quite possibly the choicest neighborhood in the city. All without having to empty your Swiss bank account. 

On The Market in Harbor Beach

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2571 Del Lago Drive

6 bed, 7+ bath, 

waterfront, pool

4,538 Square Feet

$12,000,000

Margo Fuller

Nest Seekers Florida, LLC

347.580.3745

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60 Isla Bahia Drive

5 bed, 6+ bath, 

waterfront, pool

8,832 Square Feet

$16,995,000

Julie Jones-Bernard

Florida Luxurious Properties

954.328.3665

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2501 Mercedes Drive

5 bed, 7+ bath, 

waterfront, pool

9,295 Square Feet

$19,800,000

Tim Elmes

Compass Florida, LLC

954.557.0411

Recently Sold in Harbor Beach

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5 Isla Bahia Drive

6 bed, 8+ bath, 

waterfront, pool

7,276 Square Feet

N.A.

$7,500,000

Sheryl Hodor

Compass Florida, LLC

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2731 Mayan Drive

4 bed, 4+ bath, 

pool

3,712 Square Feet

$1,825,000

$1,810,000

Michael Eaton

Intl. Realty Services

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2523 Laguna Terrace

4 bed, 5+ bath, 

waterfront, pool

4,913 Square Feet

$6,750,000

$6,400,000

Kevin Kreutzfeld

Premier Estate Properties