Happy New Year!
With results of the presidential Iowa caucus soon to be known and the outcome of the Town of Palm Beach’s caucus on Tuesday night a near certainty, given the three incumbent councilmen are unopposed, it should be reassuring to know Palm Beach and Dubuque have something in common. Nonetheless, anytime Palm Beach County residents are spared an election where actual votes are counted, it should be celebrated. With most everyone bundled up at the beach, on a boat, golf course, tennis court, or at a bridge table, during the 12 days before Christmas I had the immeasurable satisfaction of serving on jury duty at the Palm Beach County Courthouse. What better holiday than the memory of watching a three-hour videotaped deposition of a neurosurgeon shuffle papers while opening cans of Diet Coke. Otherwise, I have been in the ocean as much as possible.
Here are scenes from the polish, paradox, and paradise of Palm Beach, some sparkling settings, a few notes about the latest transactions, and a glimpse of the remote historic Lakeside Inn in Mt. Dora, one of the state’s last remaining authentic 19th-century and early 20th-century towns.
Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo!
At the galleries
A Walk on Worth Avenue
331 South County Road
Norbert and Lydia Goldner moved their popular Café L’Europe restaurant from 150 Worth Avenue to its present County Road location on New Year’s Eve in 1995. On this New Year’s Eve, I dropped by a few minutes before the doors opened for the evening’s more than 350 guests and took some snaps of the Palm Beach landmark,.
1 January 2012
New Year’s Day
The Corey family hosted an at-home New Year’s Day supper celebrating 2012.
Remember Real Estate?
Palm Beach real estate agents are ever the optimists. However, there are concerns about the lack of available high high-end listings. But don’t many of these sales at believe-it-or-not prices involve properties not widely-known to be on the market? Isn’t buying something not perceived available to just any/every billionaire part of Palm Beach’s cachet? Nonetheless, lakeside and oceanfront construction continues on several titanic-sized houses, that would be somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000-square-feet or imagine about half the size of the new Publix, with more modest newbuilds on the drawing boards.
According to the minutes of the most recent ARCOM meetings, look for the latest caravan of bulldozers, concrete trucks, and concert of drills and hammers at: 217 Emerald Lane, 256 Mockingbird Trail, 202 Plantation Road, 221 Ocean Terrace, 111 El Brillo Way, 108 El Mirasol, 1071 North Ocean Blvd (site of Vahan and Danielle Gureghian’s planned 20,000-sq.-ft. ” French Monte-Carlo inspired estate”), and 40 Blossom Way, where in April 2011 the new owner paid $29.5 million.
On the lighter side, SunTrust Bank has deeded 270 Colonial Lane for $1.27 million to Dean and Christine Goodman, financed by SunTrust with a $1 million mortgage. The previous owner Alla Kournikova, mother of tennis star Anna Kournikova, paid $1.36 million in 2004; then, secured a $1.8 million mortgage. As you may recall, in 2010 Mrs. Kournikova ran afoul with authorities after her son fell out the second-story window of her Seabreeze Avenue house. In July 2011, SunTrust took title to the Colonial Lane house for a recorded price of $950,000. You see, living in Palm Beach can really add up.
Across the water in far-off West Palm Beach, trustees for the late Helen F. Boehm’s estate sold her Trump Plaza of the Palm Beaches double unit for $1.05 million to Alan and Susan Cocoziello of Elmwood Park, New Jersey. Known as the “Princess of Porcelain” whose objets d’art would have been must-haves for residents of Pompeii or Ancient Egypt, Mrs. Boehm had acquired her 4,000-square-foot unit in 1998. Just south on Flagler Drive, the 30-story Arkona, aka 1515 Tower, condominium site owned by the Commonwealth Bank — you remember the storm-damaged building that was imploded and leveled in 2010 — has sold for $5.5 million to Terrace Mountain Investors III, an Austin-based LLC located in West Lake Hills, Texas. More upbeat news from down in Delray Beach where Consistent Income LLC, a Cayman Island company, has sold the one-acre oceanfront estate at 1103 South Ocean Boulevard it bought for $19 million in 2007 for $14.25 million to Lynelle Kirby and Lawrence Gsell, as co-trustees. Mrs. Kirby and her husband Mr. Gsell also own a penthouse apartment at 1045 Park Avenue, NYC, according to court documents.
Back in Palm Beach, here are a few recent real estate mentions of note.
Former Ordway estate listed at $17.9 million by Sotheby’s International Realty
Jimmy & Jane Buffett opt for North End seclusion
Parc Regent penthouse’s $5.48 million tops condo sales
Queens Lane lands $1.6 million
Longtime resident Carolyn Stambaugh sold her 272 Queens Lane residence for $1.6 million to Christopher and Jennifer Lazzara. Built in 1936, the approx. 4,000-sq.-ft. two-story house is set on a one-third acre parcel.
Bermuda Lane house settles for less
Stage Door, the Palm Beach version
At last, Publix opens!
100 North Alexander Street, Mt. Dora
As thousands make their way to Main Street at Walt Disney World, reveling in the attraction’s simulated Cinderella’s castle, faux Hollywood storefronts, assembly-line accommodations and virtual thrills, far too few find refuge in places like the historic Lakeside Inn where Old Florida traditions have endured without fireworks and fairytales for the past 128 years. Although my mother was born in Orlando, she had never visited Mt. Dora, a scenic small town about 45 minutes northwest of the I-4 theme parks. During this past holiday, now that my mother is 86, she thought it time she checked out the Lakeside Inn. And while we were both charmed by the town and the Inn, there were moments when stairs were too steep and more comfortable amenities would have made her more comfortable. Here is a look at a Central Florida original although the Atlantic Coast train from New York-to-Ft. Myers no longer stops at Mt. Dora.