Al Hoffman, the Florida developer who built WCI Communities and later became U.S. Ambassador to Portugal, canceled the March 13 auction for his Fort Myers mansion because he received strong offers in the days leading up to the event, his auctioneer says.
“I expect we'll have the property sold by the weekend,” says Daniel DeCaro, whose Naples-based real estate auction company marketed the 16,473-square-foot luxury house on the Caloosahatchee River.
Hoffman, who recently moved to Palm Beach, had listed his seven-bedroom home on the market for $13 million, but decided to hold an auction after it languished on the market for five years. Besides the main home, Casa del Rio has two guest cottages, a four-car garage and a 100-foot pier.
About 800 people toured the property in the four weeks since the auction was advertised, including foreigners from distant countries such as Brazil and Saudi Arabia.
“We had somebody fly in from Tokyo,” DeCaro says. With a marketing budget of about $130,000, DeCaro advertised the auction widely in publications such as the Wall Street Journal.
DeCaro says Hoffman is negotiating with multiple prospective buyers who have made offers. “I think it's a good sign,” DeCaro says. “People are starting to think we're at or near the bottom.”