|Island fever, Movers and shakers, Casa Juanita, plus Palm Beach under construction
by Augustus Mayhew
While waiting for court house monks to record the much-talked-about hush-hush sale of the Jimmy Buffett house at 540 South Ocean Boulevard -- He wanted $30M. It was a handshake deal. His neighbor bought it for $25 million. Did it close yet? Has it sold? The house needed work. He made the deal in a New York elevator -- I am reminded that nothing is as entertaining or as real as Palm Beach gossip.
And lately, although Palm Beach was planned as an offshore escape immune from reality, intended not as a mirror of the mainland’s rational ticktock but as a floating cloud of timeless pleasure, many of the townspeople appear to be toting pitchforks rather than golf clubs, awhirl in a constant dustup of factional huff-and-puffs.
Among the tiffs, a clash with the PBPD, a fracas with Town Hall staff and a shutdown on the long-awaited Royal Poinciana Way plans. Meanwhile, Gerry Goldsmith’s one-vote loss in the never-ending mayoral race is headed for the Supreme Court while the town’s billionaire-in-residence of five months, La Bellucia’s owner Jeff Greene, declared himself a candidate for the US Senate. Even though his tennis court is finished and the CDO meltdown mogul’s own $15+ million mortgage is now in place, he wants nothing more than spend next season in Washington. Then, who will pay for the vanishing beachfront? And enter stage left, the newly formed Neighborhood Alliance of Palm Beach, ready to take on the south of Sloan’s Curve heavyweights. Up on North County Road, Leo and Kathryn Vecellio remain locked into Civil Case No. 502009CA040005XXXXMB, with a case file already thick as the Shanghai phonebook, as what happened at their $40+ million oceanfront dream house must have the makings for the nation’s largest residential construction case.
The $11.6 billion sandbar
|Bigger is better in Palm Beach, if it is a 50,000 square-foot Publix supermarket|
|Du Ponts oppose historic designation of 977 North Ocean
Despite last week’s formidable objections lodged by representatives for Genevieve du Pont and her daughter Nicole du Pont Limbocker, the Landmarks Commission voted 4-3 to recommend that the Town Council designate du Pont’s Volk-designed house at 977 North Ocean. Designed in a 1960s Bermuda style for Nicholas and Genevieve Estes DuPont, who describe it as “a fairly simple beach house,” the oceanfront house was featured in numerous national design magazines. Although revival of revival style houses are not recognized by the National Trust as landmarkable post-war styles, Palm Beach continues to locally designate these ersatz contextual houses and buildings as historic, no matter that many consider them more anomalous and anachronistic than historical. But hey, it is incomparable Palm Beach.
Here is a round-up of some of the platinum sandbar’s latest deed transfers among the movers and shakers.
Former Dodge estate oceanfront lot goes for $19.3 million
|This time, 947 North Ocean Boulevard Trust sold to 1200 South Ocean Boulevard LLC for $19.32 million. The NOB’s attorney, Richard A. Karelitz, is general counsel for the New England Patriots and its owner Robert Kraft, who paid $19.13 million five years. The buyer was represented by Tina Fanjul Associates Inc., according to associate Crista Fanjul Ryan. The 1.6-acre parcel is currently assessed for $25 million. Known lately as the Scripps property, Betty Scripps Harvey sold the Scripps house several years ago for $16 million. In 1986 Edward and Betty Scripps paid Jan Kemper $3.45 million for the house.
Nederlanders buy historic Drew-Hoffstot waterfront house for $13.5 million
|There’s no business like the Palm Beach real estate business, if you are James M. and Charlene Nederlander. The Nederlanders paid $13.5 million for their third island villa, Sans Gene, a landmarked South County Road waterfront one-acre estate designed by Maurice Fatio, once belonging to Palm Beach’s leading historic preservationist Barbara Drew Hoffstot and her family. Mrs. Hoffstot’s father, Judge James Byron Drew, was chief justice of the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court for more than twenty years; her mother was a Pittsburgh steel heiress. Barbara Hoffstot was the author of the groundbreaking “Landmark Architecture of Palm Beach,” first published in 1974 with two later editions. After what seemed an extended renovation and marketing campaign, the late 1930s Georgian Revival-styled house was most recently listed for $14.9 million by Carole Koeppel and Cristina Condon, associates with Sotheby’s International Realty. The buyer was represented by Betsy S. Green, principal of Betsy S. Green Real Estate.
Maddock Way corner lot lands $6 million
|South End auction believed to be a first|
|225 Seabreeze sold again for $6.35M
W. Ted Gossett, a broker-owner associate with Sotheby's International Realty, sold 225 Seabreeze Avenue for $6.35 million to car dealer and part-time PB resident Gene Reed.
The buyer was represented by Mary Boykin, a Sotheby's Palm Beach associate.Mr. Reed, who heads up automobile dealerships in South and North Carolina, also owns 329 Australian, bought in 2009 for $3.5 million, now offered for sale at $4 million by Mary Boykin.
225 Seabreeze was part of last summer’s cakewalk of house trading frenzy. Mr. Gossett, and a partner, Robert Abee, acquired the newly-built house last July when they swapped deeds with former Apple CEO John Sculley and his wife, Leigh Adams Sculley. Gossett and Abee “sold” 125 Wells Road to the Sculleys for $8 million; the Sculleys “sold” 225 Seabreeze to Gossett and Abee for $5.5 million, according to the recorded deeds. Then Mr. Gossett marketed the Seabreeze house for $7.65 million. Needless, there were existing mortgages to be considered as well in the arithmetic.
|Previously, the Sculleys bought 225 Seabreeze from James and Helen Rosburg for $4.5 million; then spent reportedly $4 million more building the MedRev two-story more than 7,500- sq.-ft. four bedroom house. Mr. Gossett has also been busy. In January he sold his 190 Via Palma house, formerly owned by Ivana Trump, for $3.95 million, leaving him currently with only one Palm Beach house, the former Durie Appleton house at 134 Casa Bendita that he purchased in July 2008 for $5.7 million.
The representatives for the estate of James B. Gaynor sold a condominium apartment and cabana at Two North Breakers Row, Unit N-31, for $6.89 million to Roberta Weiner. A Villa Platti resident since 2008, Mrs. Weiner’s husband Stephen Weiner is a prominent shopping mall developer. Anne Tierney Manson, Lisa Manson Degen and Christine A. Hanson, as trustees, have sold an oceanfront Dunster House condo, Unit 5B, for $2.275 million to John and Leatrice Wolf. Betty Payne has sold 208 Barton Avenue for $2.775 million. A small Midtown property, it was currently appraised for $3.4 million by the county property appraiser.
The only Wellington news of substance is whether uber Houston billionaire and IPC polo patron John B. Goodman will face homicide charges following the death of a young man whose family live in Wellington. Mr. Goodman’s attorney is Roy Black, who as you may recall, ably served Rush Limbaugh and married one of his jurors from the William Kennedy Smith trial. Reportedly, one of Goodman’s polo chums, AMW’s John Walsh, is said to be well connected to every law enforcement agency in the United States. IPC’s security is also known to work courthouse security. Mr. Goodman’s Houston connections are pure gold. Last week the victim’s family filed a civil suit .Stay tuned. If it goes to trial, prepare for yet another Roy Black production.
Nevertheless, here is a recent Wellington sale of note. UES adman Martin Puris and his wife Mary Puris have sold their Golf Brook house at 11332 Long Meadow Drive house for $2.9 million, having paid $1.9 million less than five years ago. The buyers are Raymond Kassar and David Ferguson.
Marion Sims Wyeth, architect. 1925.
Offered for lease by Fite Shavell & Associates, Palm Beach
|The colonnaded Romanesque portal makes for a dramatic entrance that steps up into the loggia and the central courtyard beyond.||The central reception gallery makes for a play of stone, tile and ironwork flanked by gentleman’s and lady’s lounges.|
|The living room ceiling has been beautifully maintained providing a counterpoint to the room’s various intimate tableaux.|
|To Joseph Frederick Dryer, with best wishes, Ronald Regan.||A photo of a photo of Joe and Nancy Dryer, longtime Palm Beach residents.|
|Here are a few landscapes of the ongoing construction ...|
|Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.|