How Star Island Became Miami’s Most Exclusive Enclave


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When Diddy welcomed new Star Island resident Rick Ross to the hallowed grounds of Miami’s famed celeb hot spot, he didn’t do so with the classic gifting of a windowsill plant or the typical move-in party; no, in true Star Island fashion, the rapper was inducted into the elite tier of property owners in the waterfront paradise with a golf cart to get around the lavish neighborhood. Earlier this month, TMZ reported that Ross is under contract to claim a coveted spot on the island with the purchase of a $37 million mansion.

“This is an intimate space,” said Diddy of Star Island in a video that Ross, who was raised in Florida and dubbed his debut album Port of Miami, posted to his Instagram stories. Diddy cautioned the “Hustlin’” hitmaker, who is notorious for throwing huge social affairs, not to bring too much rambunctious energy to the tony community. “Welcome to the neighborhood! I’m not playing with you, Rozay: no fucking parties, no pool parties. I’m the head of the [committee], I don’t do none of that shit!” 

Rick Ross’s new $37 million Star Island abode. The rapper plans on doing some remodeling to the property.

Photo: Luxury TV/ONE Sotheby’s International Realty

Ross is more than aware of the island’s prestigious status and has long been eyeing a place in the neighborhood, per the agent involved in the eight-figure transaction, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty global real estate advisor Kimberly Knausz. But with the area’s incredibly limited and highly sought-after inventory, it’s not too often that Star Island opens its security-guarded gates to newcomers. “Star Island is the ultimate goal in Miami,” Knausz tells AD. “It’s so exclusive. There’s only roughly 30 homes…. [Ross] said it’s like the missing piece to the puzzle of his real estate portfolio. It’s a big accomplishment for him, as someone who grew up in Miami.”

With property owners in the area like hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Diddy himself, and Jennifer Lopez (who has yet to offload the Star Island property she scooped up with ex-fiancé Alex Rodriguez), a group of fascinating neighbors who provide the island’s namesake star power is included in the price tag of the multimillion-dollar homes there. But just how did this 86-acre island become such a haven for the rich and famous?

Star Island’s origins

A 1932 aerial view of Star Island, with the Venetian Islands in the background and Miami Beach off to the far right.

Photo: Underwood & Underwood/Underwood Archives/Getty Images

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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