During this past week the only more astronomical phenomena than the area’s high 80s-low 90s temperatures were Palm Beach County’s annual property tax assessments that arrived in the mail, especially Palm Beachers. Those with tax bills in excess of $500,000 probably took time to reflect on the barrier island’s pivotal milestones that elevated everyone’s expectations and appraised values. It has been a decade since Russian fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev’s reportedly paid $95 million for Maison d’ Amitie.
Six years have passed since Chicago’s Ken Griffin began spending more than $150 million to accommodate his own edition of Figulus. Or, from the current looks of it, what Baudelaire might have described in his poem “Landscape” as “plunged deep in the thrill.” Although, the Palm Beach residential market has resisted the $100 million level, Terry Allan Kramer has listed her immense oceanfront retreat overlooking Griffinlandia for $135 million. Last winter Sydell Miller’s acquisition at the Bristol-Palm Beach led to rumors her La Reverie estate would also soon be/if not already quietly on the market at comparable levels to the nearby Kramer homestead.
Palm Beach’s neverending assembly-line of spec houses not only drive the market higher but also has established design standards dictated by a draconian rule requiring new houses to be compatible with those located within 200-feet of it. Streets once lined with an eclectic mix of discernable Palm Beach facades and floor plans have given way to the curb appeal of corpulent formulated generics built by those who will never actually live in the houses they produced. Not to be left out, the Town of Palm Beach has begun construction on a revitalized Recreation Center.
With the sanctioned Palm Beach season soon to be underway, here is my annual hard hat look-around, pheew, and a pre-Art Basel jaunt to Miami, before catching up with Architectural Digest’s Paige RenseNoland at Charles Cohen’s DCOTA where she was signing her new book.
During the past decade, Little Moscow, aka Sunny Isles Beach, has become a seasonal and year-round oceanfront destination for Russia’s cosmopolitan classes and haute bourgeoisie, sharing beach cabanas with Argentinians and Venezuelans. Positioned strategically between the upscale Aventura Mall and the sumptuous Bal Harbour Shops, and only a short drive to Gulfstream Race Track, Moscow’s swells were attracted early on by the ensemble of Trump signature oceanfront buildings promising a grande elite lifestyle. As the Russian population grew into a more diverse enclave, their presence stretched across the bay onto mainland Hallandale and Hollywood. Having never explored this area of Greater Miami, I spent a recent morning experiencing Little Moscow, especially captivated by Matryoshka’s gourmet market. Captioned in Cyrillic and English, shelves are stocked with Moskva’s very best, leaving exiles not wanting for anything from life on the Volga or the Neva.
Hard Hat Palm Beach: Under Construction
Viewpoints: The Photography of Augustus Mayhew Jennifer Garrigues – 308 Peruvian Avenue – Palm Beach
November 20, 2018 – December 15, 2018
Reception: November 20, 2018 / 6 pm – 8 pm