Thursday, May 3, 2012

South Florida Social Diary

On Sunday afternoon, Al and Nancy Malnik hosted a Taj Mahal-themed benefit at their oceanfront estate for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of South Florida.
Season finale: Real Estate Roulette, A Family Reunion, and An Afternoon Revelry
Wellington – Palm Beach – Ocean Ridge – Delray Beach

By Augustus Mayhew


If only Palm Beach real estate was rolling as well as the island's Mitt Romney for President fundraisers, as Sunday night's $50,000 per-person dinner with the former Massachusetts governor and his wife filled every chair. Though nowhere near yesterday's who-can-count-this-high prices, there has been some activity during the past several weeks, albeit a few repeat sales, along with some determined price slashing. And while I thought there might never be another real estate roulette column, there have been some detectable market twinges. Alas, the island's high-end listings remain high-end listings. In Midtown, Sotheby's is showing the Casa Rosada townhouse priced at $3.9M as Under Contract. Down in Delray Beach, 75 Main opened this week, giving the town's East Atlantic Avenue a shot of Southampton. Who knew there was room for one more restaurant-club in South Florida?

A spark in the Wellington market, some recent transactions of note, an oceanfront garden party, and an update on the Ellen Ordway chronicle mark the end of South Florida's traditional winter season.
Earlier on Sunday, sunrise at Beaux Arts, Al & Nancy Malnik's oceanfront cottage between Palm Beach and Gulf Stream where later in the day more than 200 guests gathered for an afternoon party.
Wellington scramble

The late Peter Widener Wetherill's estate at 2981 Hurlingham Drive that closed in January for $6.1 million to an LLC appears to have been purchased by Colorado tycoon Robert P. Jornayvaz. Jornayvaz recently recorded a mortgage on the property. Mr. Jornayvaz is the founder of the Intrepid Companies, invested in the oil and gas related business, real estate development and the potash mining industry. Having sold his South County Road house on Palm Beach, Mr. Wetherill moved to the Hurlingham house in 2005 when he paid more than $7 million for the property. He died in 2010. The estate was then placed on the market and sold four months ago. Jornayvaz is the patron of the Valiente polo team, players at the Goodman-family owned International Polo Club Palm Beach and at Santa Barbara Polo Club. At Wellington's Mallet Hill, Denise and William P. Varney sold their 8,000-square-foot house on 1.65 acres at 13765-13840 Fairlane Court for $3.9 million to Peacock Ridge LLC, 38 Quaker Lane, Greenwich Ct., Suhail Rizvi and Pattijean Blanchard Rizvi, principals. Mr. Rizvi is the co-founder and chief investment officer of Rizvi Traverse Management and related entities.

Several of Wellington's equestrian properties are aggressively priced, almost on par with lavish Palm Beach oceanfront estates (with one-tenth the tax bill). The 123-acre polo facility at 13560 Indian Mound Road is asking $32 million. The 78-acre polo farm at 4158 Southshore Boulevard is priced at $25 million. But then, how many millions is it worth for you to say you own Tommy Lee Jones' polo farm?
After Tommy Lee Jones married fellow polo enthusiast Dawn Laurel Jones in 2001, they added the Wellington property to their real estate portfolio that already included a cattle ranch near San Antonio and a Buenos Aires estancia. Mr. Jones was born in San Saba, Texas.
Actor Tommy Lee Jones asking $26.75 million for Wellington polo ranch

According to various sources, actor Tommy Lee Jones' 50-acre San Saba polo ranch at 12550 South 40th Street, Wellington, is on the market at $26.75 million. Some of the ranchero grande's features include two barns with 48 stalls, a full-size polo field stick & ball field, a 4BR/2BA grooms quarters, seven tack rooms, 12 turn-outs, and four large paddocks. In 2002, Mr. Jones paid Mirage Polo (great name, huh!) $2.95 million for four adjacent parcels encompassing 40 acres. In June 2003, he acquired an adjacent approx.10-acre parcel for $1.1 million, according to the property appraiser's records. During the past decade, he has made numerous improvements. Currently, the appraised market value of Jones' property is $3.2 million, having been appraised at $5.5 million several years ago, according to the county property appraiser. With a 2011 assessed value of $1 million, Jones tax bill for 2011 was $30,611. As you see, in Wellington it takes no time for things to add up to more than $25 million.
Tommy Lee Jones, left, with his wife Dawn Laurel and the San Saba polo team at an afternoon match on an International Polo Club field. The Joneses' private box at the International Polo Club was next to fellow Texan John Goodman.
A San Saba groomsman awaits with a fresh pony.
In an interview with The Palm Beach Post several years ago, Jones detailed some of the improvements to his Wellington property: "Orchids are sprouting off the sides of cypress trees. Otters and alligators and ospreys have moved in. The water birds have populated it with minnows, and we're kind of proud of that." All yours for $26.75 million.
Bea Ford sells Regent Park house for $3.8 million
With the more elaborate and substantial house at 400 Regents Park Road priced at $14 million, albeit it is next door to the $70+ million spec chateau, former U.S. Ambassador Mary M. Ourisman and her husband Mandell Ourisman would appear to have made a real deal, paying just $3.815 million for Beatriz Ford's waterfront house at 300 Regents Park Road. The more than 7,000-square-foot four-bedroom house, built in 1959 as part of Ohio-builder Clarence Mack's spec subdivision, features staff quarters and has views of the Bingham Islands and Audubon sanctuary. Reportedly, the house was listed for $5.695 million.
Everglades Island southwest point closes at $13.5 million
757 Island Drive, Everglades Island, as seen from WPB's South Flagler Drive. On the market for the first time in more than 50 years, the Haggin family's southwest point lot with 380 feet of water frontage afforded a South Seas ambience and spectacular sunsets across the Intracoastal Waterway.
Associated with the John Ben Ali Haggin family for nearly 50 years, John B. Haggin Jr. sold his family's longtime Everglades Island residence at 757 Island Drive for $13.5 million to three different LLCs, managed by Chicagoland real estate entrepreneur Fred Latsko, according to the warranty deed and state corporate records.  The house went under contract within weeks of it being listed in July 2011 by Linda Gary's office for $15.9 million but only recently closed. Mr. Latsko is a well-known Chicago personality who in April 2011 bought 320 Polmer Park for $3.7 million and then mortgaged it for $4.5 million with MS Holding LP, according to court records. Mr. Latsko's Chicago ventures have been the subject of headlines. His 1985 criminal conviction was pardoned by then Gov. Jim Thompson and completely expunged in 2009 by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
With a flat roof and open porches, the house's Mid-century Florida style reflects the mansion-free values expressed by the original houses built on Everglades Island.
Landmarked Archbold-Hufty house undergoes levitation
Having sold in June 2011 for $6.9 million, the landmarked Archbold-Hufty house at 330 Island Road is in the midst of an extensive tax-certified historic renovation by its current owner the New York-based Milan E.A.T LLC.,
Henry Kravis adds to Palm Beach holdings

A Delaware-based company, 700 North Lake LLC of 730 Fifth Avenue, NYC, associated with Henry R. Kravis,  paid $9.2 million for a vacant parcel at 324 Cherry Lane owned by Cheryl Minikes, according to court documents filed late Monday afternoon April 16. The parcel is adjacent to the south end of the existing 5-acre Kravis lakefront estate at 700 North Lake Way, purchased for a recorded price of $50 million in 2006, the same year Minikes bought the Cherry Lane property for more than $11 million.

Season ends with sales burst

Rhode Island residents Gussie and Victor Baxt sold their Biltmore condominium unit 801 to S. Daniel and Ewa Abraham for $4.5 million. A frequent mention on the Forbes magazine billionaire's list, along with his political and charitable endeavors Mr. Abraham is known for his Slim-Fast line of diet products.  The Baxts purchased their 2,100-sq.-ft. unit for $1 million in 1994. A principal with the Pawtucket-based Teknor Apex company, Mrs. Baxt's company is known as the largest manufacturer of garden hoses in the United States.

Mary and Mandell Ourisman.
Mary and Mandell Ourisman sold their Kirkland House oceanfront condo for $6.4 million to Patrick and Mary Donaghy, an apparent record price at the 101 Worth Avenue condo complex. Darien residents, the Donaghys previously bought a Villa Plati townhouse in 2005 for $3.6 million, a unit flipped four times since December 1999. Shadowcorp Holdings, John W. Grand, principal,  bought 212 Mockingbird Trail for $3.7 million from a spec developer and then sold 1326 North Ocean Boulevard for $6.45 million to Stephen and Marcia Sullivan.

Previously, Mr. Grand's Shadowcorp Holdings owned 1510 North Lake Way, acquired for $650,000 in 2001 and sold in 2008 for $1.2 million to an LLC affiliated with Wade Shavell and Scott Turkell. And in the lien times department, besides that $9.25 million mortgage filed on Everglades Island, and in case you thought money was tight, US Sugar Corporation, founded by Charles Stewart Mott, has recorded a $200 million mortgage from Prudential Mortgage Capital. In October 2010, US Sugar sold 26,800 acres of its Everglades holdings to the South Florida Water Management District for $197 million with SFWMD holding an option on 157,000 additional acres. Stay tuned, it is only your tax dollars.

The Goodman trial:
One juror has second thoughts, defense piles on more motions, sentencing May 11
Attired in V-neck navy blue two-piece jail scrubs, a white crew-neck undershirt, leg irons, handcuffs and escorted by several armed sheriff's deputies, John Goodman, International Polo Club founder and heir to a more than $1 billion Texas fortune, attended Monday afternoon's hearing at the courthouse where Judge Jeffrey Colbath interviewed jurors concerning defense allegations of possible misconduct. To Mr. Goodman's right, his defense team, Mark Shapiro, Guy Fronstin, and Roy Black. Photo Lannis Waters/ The Palm Beach Post.
An appellate court having denied the defense's motion to have Judge Jeffrey Colbath taken off the John Goodman case, on Monday afternoon the judge proceeded to conduct a limited interview of the six jurors and two alternates concerning their jury experience. In the latest believe-it-or-not twist, the alternate juror who had gone to Goodman's defense team and filed an affidavit claiming improper deliberations appeared to indicate the jury did nothing inappropriate. But, one of the deliberating jurors, Martin St. John, revealed for the first time that he felt "pressured" into a guilty verdict, causing Team Goodman to really perk up. No other juror indicated the slightest hint of indiscretion during the trial and deliberations or remorse for their verdict. Judge Colbath indicated he would rule on the misconduct issue at a later date and set sentencing for May 11. When someone asked me why I did not attend court March 23 when the jury announced their verdict, I told them I thought in Roy Black's world this was just the beginning. Considering Black's expertise and Mr. Goodman's connections, expect more motions, anything is still possible.

Here are some video pool video camera images from the afternoon's proceedings.
Judge Jeffrey Colbath indicated he would rule on the jury misconduct issue either by the end of the week or beginning of next week.
Before the jury interviews began, John Goodman shared a few laughs with his defense lawyer Guy Fronstin. From my pool camera view, he was the only one I saw laughing.
Team Goodman listens as juror Michael St. John now alleges he has unanswered questions about the case. Seated behind the professorial Roy Black, left to right, Guy Fronstin, Gregg Goodman, who could be seen having animated conversations with his brother's defense lawyers, and Gregg Goodman's son, Hutton Goodman.
Apparently, John Goodman was enjoying his respite from Palm Beach County Jail. He actually lifted his eyebrows and rolled his eyes towards his defense lawyers when Mr. St. John finished his interview. Having settled the civil wrongful death suit with his victim's parents for $40 million, Mr. Goodman was found guilty of DUI Manslaughter/Leaving the scene and could be sentenced up to 30 years in prison.
PB Chamber of Commerce awards 2012 best new business award to Café Via Flora
Pamela Lomba, pictured above, owns Café Via Flora with her husband Heinrich Lowenberg. Having begun as a small take-out venue, Café Via Flora recently expanded to a 50-seat casual Italian-style café open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, garnering the Chamber of Commerce 2012 Award for Best New Business on Palm Beach.
Via Flora is one of Worth Avenue's most eclectic and colorful attractions.
Pamela Lomba stands in the courtyard at Café Via Flora, 240 Worth Avenue.
Mary Lou Whitney – John Hendrickson are nouveau North Enders
La Casa Regalo, façade and motor court. 233 Tradewind Drive.
Eles Gillet transitioned from the South End to Sandpiper. George and Frayda Lindemann found life after Billionaire’s Row up on North Ocean Way. And now it appears, longtime former South Ender Marylou Whitney and her husband John Hendrickson have discovered the remote charms of Palm Beach’s North End. According to court records, Hendrickson paid $3 million for 233 Tradewind Drive, formerly owned by sellers James and Susan Keenan. Whitney and her late former husband C. V. “Sonny” Whitney were ensconced at Elephant Walk, 109 Jungle Road, for many years. Marylou Whitney sold that house in 1993, since demolished, and has lived elsewhere and at the same time infrequently engaging a seasonal lease in Palm Beach. The seller bought the more than 5,000-square foot house in 2002 for $1.9 million

Ellen Glendinning Frazer Ordway’s diary, 2012 update

Last Saturday afternoon, Lucius Ordway Frazer, whose grandmother Ellen Glendinning Frazer Ordway’s photograph collection has been an ongoing NYSD Social History column, hosted a meet-up of several Frazer-Ordway-Duke family members who had appeared in the column but had not seen each other in several decades. Interestingly, they learned they all owned sailboats and shared a passion for the sea.
Mollie Williams Frazer. At Saturday's informal gathering of the Frazer-Ordway-Duke clan in Delray Beach, Mollie told Johnny Duke she remembered him "when you were the cutest little 6-year-old." Mrs. Frazer's 1942 wedding to Persifor "Perkie" Frazer III was the focal point of Part VIII: Social Rites during World War II, 1942-1945. David Dunn. "At the 241 Banyan Road house, where we lived for about ten years after Ellen died, my mother moved the pool three times just after it was finished. Then, she bulldozed half the house and rebuilt most of it. My sister and I sold it to the Lowry Bells in 1985 for about $1 million, a good price then," recalled Dunn. Today, Lowry and Diana Bell have Villa Bel Tramonto listed with Sotheby's International Realty for more than $15 million.
David Dunn and his brother John Duke. David and John's mother Betty Ordway first married Anthony "Tony" Biddle Duke, John's father , then wed #2 Richard Dunn, David's father. For the past several decades, John has lived in the Lower Keys where he charters his 65-foot schooner Dream Catcher. You can find Mr. Duke at the helm of Coastal Sailing Adventures
Lucius Ordway Frazer and his brother Randy Frazer, Ellen Glendinning Frazer Ordway's grandsons. Lou hosted the "cousins," who last recalled going to the circus together decades ago. Named for his grandfather Lucius Pond Ordway Jr., Lou has the 1900-1958 volumes of his grandmother's photographic collection; his cousin Gayle Abrams has the other 95 volumes from 1959 until 1974.
David Williams Frazer, Ellen Ordway's grandson, who moved to Oregon more than 30 years ago to manage a wildlife park, pilots hand gliders in the Pacific Northwest. Patrick Frazer, Ellen Ordway's great-grandson.
Randy Frazer, Johnny Duke, and December Duke. Villa Bel Tramonto, Palm Beach, November 1961.
Malnik family hosts Make-A-Wish Foundation benefit
With a steady offshore wind tempering the 80+ degree heat, Sunday afternoon's weather could not have been more perfect for the several hundred supporters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Although lawyer, real estate mogul, restaurateur, entertainment impresario, and financial advisor Al Malnik has been best-known for his legendary Miami Beach-Las Vegas-New York who’s who clients, associates, and friends, King Saud of Saudi Arabia and pop icon Michael Jackson, among them, he may now find himself even more famous for the highly-noticeable house he built between Palm Beach and Gulf Stream. And with an 18,000 square foot addition nearing completion next door to the approximate 38,000 square foot main house, the Malniks’ marble sandcastles are causing even more heads to turn on North Ocean Boulevard. Despite being a prominent South Florida public figure for decades — I first met Mr. Malnik more than 30 years ago when he was among Zev Buffman’s opening night inner-circle group and owned a ranch in Boca Raton — he still remains an elusive subject for media speculation.

But, Malnik’s enthusiasm for and association with the Make-A-Wish Foundation has never been the subject of conjecture, being the South Florida organization’s primary Lifetime Benefactor. “They literally bring the child back to life by granting a wish,” Malnik remarked in a recent published story. “They really do. We saw it,” he added. Several years ago, when one of the Malniks’ children was diagnosed with leukemia, spending six months at a local hospital, Malnik said in an interview he saw “Make-A-Wish in action.” And while his son remains in remission, Make-A-Wish had made a lasting impression on someone who decided he could help them help children in distress.   And help them, Al Malnik did! 
The one-and-only Al Malnik, Amber Ridinger, and Duane McLaughlin.
Nancy Malnik. Al Malnik and Nancy Gresham married in 1995. Their children, philanthropic interests, and creating new interests make up their exceptional lives. Noah Malnik and Jesse Malnik. When not on the trampoline or dashing about, the Malnik kids were still having fun. While children's' causes are one of Al Malnik's primary interests, he is setting up "a foundation that will specialize in seeking out deserving causes to be the recipients of his generosity," according to a published report.
Cornerstone plaque at Beaux Arts. With ten children from his two marriages, Al Malnik has a far-reaching family and he appears to have built a house for all of them to enjoy.
The Malniks' 38,000-square-foot three-story house is positioned on nearly 3.5 oceanfront acres. The house is said to feature an 1860s Cartier-designed dining room ensemble, an alabaster clock fireplace from the Cartier family estate in Switzerland, and Russian Beaux Arts-styled candelabras and a solid-gold candle holder, a gift from Saudi Arabian Prince Abdul Aziz.
As guests began to arrive, a view of the North Ocean Boulevard façade looking southeast.
A view of the motor court, looking northeast towards the Main House and the new 18,000-square-foot addition.
A sculptural folly in the central entrance fountain.
Delray Beach architect Randall Stofft is credited with the design for Beaux Arts. Above, the gazebo and the east elevation of the main house.
Pamela Collins and Dr. Michael J. Margolies.
Andres Garcia and Monica Heftlin.
Jeff Burnside and Sherry Mira.
An archer in the front entrance fountain. Another sculptural folly on the front terrace.
One of a pair of marble tigers on the front terrace.
Every party should have a sitar player, making for an otherworldly vibration.
Along with the sitar, the dancers kept everyone moving around the pool.
The dancers gave the party a few Mumbai moments.
Shareef Malnik. Mr. Malnik is the major domo of The Forge on Miami Beach, the landmark restaurant his father first opened during the 1960s.
Actress Gabrielle Anwar with Robert and Vana Farina.
Looking west from the ocean across the pool towards the main house's principal multi-level living areas.
Laura Males and two-time Oscar-nominated songwriter Carol Connors.
Norman Wedderburn, CEO and president of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of South Florida. Geordan Hill and his father InterContinental Hotel's Robert Hill. Miami's InterContinental Hotel hosts the annual Make-A-Wish Ball.
Abe Gosman.
The pool is bordered by Greek key-designed tiles.
Dr. Pat Riley
Jonathan Corish, Victoria Gomez, and Leida Corish.
Chase Koplow, Erin Koplow, and Maci Koplow.
Randy Frankel and Matt Wismer.
From the terrace, a view of the dancers performing around the pool as guests mingle on the oceanfront green.
Front entrance iron and gilded detail with small plaque inscribed: Giovanni Magnoni. Milan, Italy, 1813.
The view from the terrace above the bar. By 4:30, several hundred guests had arrived for the benefit.
Located on the north side of the pool, the bar–service area has a rooftop deck. Catering was by Silver Sac of Boca Raton. The under construction addition is located on the other side of this simply splendid Beaux-Art inspired design.
North addition
Built in much the same Beaux Arts Revival-style as the main house, the new 18,000-sq.-ft. addition will include an Asian Gallery on the lower level and additional children's play area. The gallery will feature "prehistoric mammoth tusks" and "awe-inspiring pieces made of jade and agate." Above, the south and east oceanfront elevations of the addition that is enhanced by an elaborate fountain created as an aesthetic barrier from the pool area.
North Addition, main façade on North Ocean Boulevard. Under construction.
North addition facing North Ocean Boulevard, main façade. Staircase.
North addition, detail.
North addition. Main façade and south elevation, a view from the Main House entrance terrace looking northeast. When complete the added expanse will include a football field and basketball court.
5:15 pm on Sunday afternoon, a final look northeast across the seagrapes and windswept seascape.
211 Tangier spec in apparent swap-sale
In what appears to be a swap-sale, for lack of a better term,  Euro Home builder Zack Ciomek and his wife, Sotheby's International Realty agent Janina Radtke sold the house they built in 2007 at 211 Tangier Avenue for $8.5 million to Toni Holt Kramer and her husband Robert D. Kramer, and at the same time took title to the Kramers' house at 1920 Flagler Estates Drive in Breakers West for $2 million, according to court records. While Ciomek and Radtke had the elaborate two-story Mediterranean Revival-style Tangier house on the market on and off the market for several years, reportedly priced as high $10 million, the Kramers bought their Breakers West house in July 2009 for $1.9 million.
410 Chilean Avenue brings $7.4 million
John L. and Nancy Beard sold their three-bedroom Mediterranean Revival-style house at 410 Chilean Avenue for $7.4 million to Martin T. and Toni Sosnoff. Mr. Sosnoff is a Rhinebeck, New York-based investment manager and financial writer. The property was reportedly listed for $7.85 million at the time of sale, having previously been priced at $1 million higher.
410 Chilean Avenue, entrance portico. After acquiring the lot for $300,000 in 1996 and demolishing an existing apartment house, the Beards built the more than 8,000-square-foot house in 1999.
416 Brazilian spec sells, again
Howard Veltman, as trustee for the Lisa M Sauer Gift Trust has sold the Dutch Colonial Revival-styled house at 416 Brazilian Avenue for $7.35 million to Richard and Jeffrey Feinstein, of Union, New Jersey, according to court documents. In December 2010, Veltman paid spec house developer David Frisbie $7.45 million.  The previous June 2009, Frisbie had bought the lot for $1.5 million from longtime resident and gallerist James Hunt Barker after Barker's fire-damaged Wyeth-designed house was torn down.
133 Brazilian sells, again
After paying $5.4 million for a Midtown property in 2009, Chicagoland's Jacqueline J. Ferro has sold 133 Brazilian Avenue for $6.6 million to the Delaware-based.133 Brazilian Avenue Revocable Trust. Affiliated with the Delaware-based PNC Trust Company. Built in 1986, the six bedroom ocean-block house with 6,000-dquare-feet of living area has sold four times since 2007.
Kirkland House unit closes at $4.9 million
Situated at the corner of Worth Avenue and South Ocean Boulevard, James F. & Kay Morrissey have sold their second floor three-bedroom Kirkland House Unit 2-D that was listed for more than $6 million for $4.97 million to Phillip H. Geir and his daughter Hope G. Smith, as trustees The Morrisseys bought the condominium for $1.9 million in 1992. The 4,000-sq.-ft. apartment had been remodeled by interior designer Geoffrey Bradfield. In 2002, Mary Ourisman, who just bought Bea Ford's Regents Park Road house, paid $3 million for Unit-4C, an apartment with four different owners since 1999, according to the property tax records.
Sun & Surf penthouse fetches $2.8 million
Although the Sun & Surf 100 condominium is still undergoing a few engineering and aesthetic touch-ups, Stamford, Connecticut resident John Stephen Singer has sold PH-8 to Calvin Roberts, of Hartsdale, New York, for $2.8 million, according to court documents. First designed as rental apartments by architect Gene Lawrence, the Sun & Surf complex's Midtown oceanfront convenience makes it one of the resort's most popular locations. The apartments were built after the Mizner-designed Otto Kahn-Leonard Replogle house was demolished that had later been converted into the Sun & Surf Beach Club.
Photographs by Augustus Mayhew.
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