Nothing shouts great location like the people who live (and invest) there
A recent noteworthy event puts another notch on West Palm Beach’s star-studded belt. Henley & Partners, an investment migration consultancy firm, recently released a report that identified West Palm Beach Fla as one of the fastest growing cities of highest net-worth individuals in the nation. In The 10 Wealthiest Cities in the World for 2022, the top spots for the U.S. cities also included Miami Fla, and Austin and Houston, Texas.
Not surprisingly, the State of Florida won top placement in the nation as home to the highest wage-earners in a separate study, as first reported in Changing America. Texas took second place, supporting the report’s theory that the nation’s wealthiest individuals are migrating to the Sunbelt region. Keep in mind, that while West Palm Beach is one of the fastest growing, the Town of Palm Beach remains the richest city in Florida as determined by the personal wealth of its estimated 30 billionaires as of 2022.
In the style of its celebrated rivals, Miami Beach and Palm Beach, West Palm Beach appears to be the new golden boy of South Florida. Its unprecedented growth has been noticed by both Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. And, a stroll through its buzzing metro hotspots, Clematis Street and Rosemary Square, reveals a well-heeled crowd intent on shopping, dining and dancing. The new uptown vibe will continue to beat via the developing Nora District.
It may also come as no surprise that the priciest West Palm Beach residential purchases were located along Flagler Drive, just blocks from the newly developed downtown area, which is just across the bridge from Palm Beach island. To orient the following addresses, note that traffic driving south on Flagler Drive moves along the coastal road until it approaches Prospect Park, at which point it becomes Washington Road for several blocks.
While the following VIP’s may or may not have been included in the Henley report, they have recently purchased the most expensive residential properties in West Palm Beach. The following buyers of West Palm Beach properties, many of which have ties to the real estate industry, have given a nod to the city as a preferred place to buy into.
Flagler Mansions and Historical Homes
As the oldest city in Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach’s great points of pride are its historical districts, especially Prospect Park. The waterfront area stretches from north to south and faces the Lake Worth Lagoon.
- Number 1 sale: Historical home brings a record-breaking $21MBuilt in 1940, the Casa del Lago, a graceful historical hacienda on 3140 Washington Road was recently purchased for $21 million, which broke all records in the city for a single-family home sale. Not only does the property have bragging rights as the priciest house in the city, it is also part of a larger development plan that seems to be inspired by West Palm Beach’s recent emergence as the new Wall Street South.
According to The Palm Beach Post, the former owners, health care mogel Sean Heyniger and his wife Ashly Heyniger, along with Realtor son, Briggs Heyniger, planned a replat that includes Heyniger’s promise to relocate two historic homes closer to the street, in part, due to their vulnerability to flooding exposure. Additionally, Briggs Heyniger said “… he’s not surprised by the increased interest in the area and the willingness to pay big for land on the Intracoastal Waterway.”
Sean Heyniger is the CEO and President of SleepMed, which has an annual revenue of $50 million. SleepMed is the current parent company of Watermark Medical, of which Mr. Heyniger is the co-founder and CEO. Watermark Medical provides diagnostic and treatment tools for sleep apnea. The buyer of Casa del Lago is the limited liability company 3140 Washington managed by Palm Beach real estate attorney Guy Rabideau.
- Related Group nabs The Flagler House for $16MIn what was one of the most expensive purchases of a West Palm Beach residence, the high-profile development company, Related Group acquired the historical Flagler House at 4906 North Flagler Drive for $16 million last July. The company is currently known for building luxury residential towers in Miami, and recently in Palm Beach County, including the two-tower Marina Village, a multifamily development that was built in West Palm Beach last year. Per their website, Marina Village represents the first phase of a 19+-acre integrated master development plan in partnership with Rybovich, builder of the world’s premier sportfishing yachts.
The seller of The Flagler House was Wolf Von Falkenburg, the widower of a Standard Oil heiress.
The documented buyer was PRH Investments LLC, an affiliate of Related Group that’s led by Related Chairman and CEO Jorge Pérez. Mr. Pérez is listed on Forbes Billionaires list with a net worth of $1.7 billion as of November 2021. He founded the Related Group in 1979 and made his fortune developing affordable housing projects in Miami. The firm quickly became the largest affordable housing builder in Florida and is currently one of the most prolific high-rise luxury condo builders in the Southern United States.
Note: While this property is included here as a residential home sale, the Multiple Listing Service identifies this property as a Single Family Home, while the Palm Beach County Appraiser identifies the property as Multifamily.
- From aerospace to $16M deep water dockage, rivet tycoon moves on Flagler
The second $16 million purchase of a West Palm Beach single-family home happened last October when rivet tycoon turned philanthropist, James H. Randall and his wife Eleanor, purchased a newly built lakefront home at 3240 North Flagler Drive. The gated estate includes a Mediterranean-style main house, over 70 feet of direct Intracoastal frontage, a deep-water dock, and separate guest/staff suite. Subsequently, the house was used as the model for the annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach, 2021.
Mr. Randall made Forbes-worthy news when he sold his TriMas Corporation aerospace rivet manufacturing company, Allfast Fastening Systems for $360 million in 2014. The Randall’s also made national news the following year when they purchased Liongate for $50 million, a massive estate in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, formerly owned by singer-songwriter Willie Nelson.
The Randalls’ new lakefront estate in Prospect Park is situated alongside another mansion they bought last year for $7.5 million through the same trust used for this one. The properties are just part of Mr. Randall’s South Florida investment portfolio. Mr. Randall is a member of Miami Developer Todd Michael Glaser’s investment team, which acquired a waterfront mansion in Indian Creek Village, locally known as Billionaire Bunker on Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach, and also Tarpon Island, the Town of Palm Beach’s only private island.
- New York property tycoon likes modern living in 1950’s historical neighborhood
The President and founder of the New York-based Clover Management company, Michael Lee Joseph, and his wife Roberta bought a modern 9,500 square foot spec home at 3200 Washington Road a year ago last September for $15.9 million. At the time, it was the highest price ever recorded for a single-family sale in West Palm Beach. Advertised as having “the best views in WPB on the widest section of water with close access to the inlet and a 100-foot dock with 2 lifts,” it’s located across the Intracoastal Waterway from the Mar-a-Lago Club.
The Clover Management home office is in Williamsville, New York, and the company is known as Western New York’s premier property management provider, with commercial real estate development operations in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.
- Ultra-modern spec house sets record, then loses record within two months
The $15.08 million sale of the new estate compound at 6717 South Flagler held top sale status for two months in 2021. Architect David Lawrence designed an estate compound that “maximized the tropical nature of South Florida and the spectacular views of the Intracoastal waterway and the ocean beyond.” The sale was advertised by the Multiple Listing Service and the purchasing party is recorded as ACB 6717 LLC.
New Bristol condos included in West Palm’s top residential sales
The lakefront condo market is alive and well in South Florida. Case in point, several apartments in the new West Palm Beach condominium tower, the Bristol, made the city’s list of top residential sales alongside single-family homes.
Developed by Flagler Investors, led by Al Adelson and Gene Golub, and just finished in 2019, The Bristol is located just south of the Royal Park Bridge to Palm Beach. With its sales office in Palm Beach, the twenty-five-story tower condominium bills itself as “Like Nothing Else In Palm Beach, Now Or Ever,” and offers panoramic views of downtown West Palm Beach, the Intracoastal Waterway, Palm Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.
- 24th floor (2 units), $42.6 million
Purchased by Sydell Miller, co-founder of the Matrix Essentials beauty-products empire and long-time Palm Beach resident who also owns a mansion near the Mar-a-Lago Club.
- Apartment 1901, $21 million
Purchased by CEO of Warner Pacific Insurance Services, John J. Nelson and his wife Renee. His company is a general agency for many of the nation’s largest insurance carriers.
- Apartment 2101, $16.5 million
Purchased by Joseph J. Plumeri, formerly of Citigroup, where he oversaw the 450 U.S. branches of Citigroup’s Citibank unit; and more recently, was the vice chair of First Data.
- Apartment 20C, purchased for $16 million
Purchased by Craig and Susan McCaw. Mr. McCaw sold his mobile phone business, McCaw Cellular Communications to AT&T for $12.6 billion, according to Forbes.
- Apartment 1100, purchased for $12.3 million
Purchased by Sylvia Golden, New York business woman and of owner of Golden Ram, an importing business that, according to their website, “Delivers food-friendly wines from around the Globe.”
Serving West Palm Beach, and located in Palm Beach, the long-established law firm of Florida Bar Board-Certified Attorneys David E. Klein, Esq. and Guy Rabideau, Esq. at Rabideau Klein has an exemplary history of serving the interests of corporations and investors involved in land use and business formation in the Palm Beaches. Contact Rabideau Klein when it’s time to talk about your next high end real estate closing, or the type of legal oversight your next land use project requires.