Once a builder always a builder. Jack Azran has spent the past 20 years building tract homes in Philadelphia. In his spare time, he designs and builds luxury condominiums at the Jersey Shore.

"In Philadelphia I build mostly subdivisions, but I have a passion for the creative part of building," says Azran, who has built about a half dozen duplexes at the Shore. "It's kind of a hobby for me. I love the whole process of making something from nothing."

Azran's latest project is a luxury duplex in Margate, a block from the beach, four blocks from the landmark Lucy the Elephant, and three blocks from Amherst Avenue, the bayfront street lined with shops, restaurants and marinas.

Azran, who operates Insight Construction, personally designed the Mediterranean style structure that features a stone and stucco exterior and ornate wrought iron railings on covered porches. The lower level unit is sold, and the upper level unit, a 4/5 bedroom, 3-bath condo with 2,300 square feet of living space, is on the market.

The upscale interior features vaulted ceilings and high-end finishes including wide maple plank floors that extend throughout all the first level rooms. A large covered fiberglass deck accessed from the kitchen offers a view of the ocean at the end of South Madison Avenue.

The custom kitchen is equipped with stainless steel appliances, granite counters, and a breakfast room set into a bayed window. It's open to a family room/dining room with a vaulted ceiling and a multitude of recessed lights.

"I went a little overboard with the high hats," Azran says. "My electrician wanted to kill me."

A full hall bathroom on the lower level serves two guest bedrooms while a lavish master suite features a tray ceiling, walk-in closet and private bathroom with porcelain tiles from floor to ceiling, an extra large shower chamber with a bench seat and overhead shower fixture.

The second level has a spacious loft, another full bath, a bedroom and a large walk-in storage area. The loft, which overlooks the family room and could serve as a fifth bedroom, has a window seat and two separate sitting areas. It's currently furnished with two sofa beds.

"With the loft and bedrooms you could sleep 12 to 14 people here comfortably," Azran says.

Other amenities include 5¼-inch baseboards and highly detailed Adam's casings around the doors and windows. Elegant paddle fans are found on the ceilings of virtually every room in the house including the porch.

Azran installed high-impact resistant Viwinco windows throughout the house. There's also a whole house stereo system with indoor and outdoor speakers and a sprinkler system.

From the street a paver driveway that can accommodate two cars borders a landscaped front yard comprised of shrubbery and decorative stones. The back yard has a concrete patio with a hookup for a gas grill, an outdoor shower and a storage shed.

Azran tore down an older single family home and a freestanding garage to build the duplex. It was nearly completed when Superstorm Sandy struck in October 2012. Luckily, it emerged virtually unscathed by the storm.

"I had a little water in the crawlspace but nothing serious," Azran says.

For more information on this property, which is listed for $875,000, call Phyllis Scherr or Troy Rosenzweig, new construction specicalist, of Soleil Sotheby International Realty, 609-209-4495.

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