Darrell Hofheinz, Palm Beach Daily News
“Prices and dates were confirmed by sales reports prepared by the Rabideau Klein law firm”
When it comes to residential real estate, Palm Beach is almost always an outlier.
After all, how many other small American towns boasted nine house sales in 2023 of $40 million or more, including one that set a new Palm Beach sale-price record at about $170 million?
Yet consider that the number of biggest-dollar-deals was actually down from the year before. In 2022, Palm Beach County Clerk’s office documented 13 deals that crossed the $40-million threshold — 14, if you include one recorded at $39.9 million.
The biggest sales of the last two years reflect the stunningly steep rise in prices that has kept real estate observers slack-jawed. In comparison, 2021 saw just four sales recorded at more than $40 million, while in 2020, there were seven and in 2019, five.
And here’s another nugget about the biggest sales last year: Not one closed after the end of July.
That’s a little unusual, since sizable end-of-the-year transactions are typical in Palm Beach, as buyers and sellers rush to close deals before the curtain falls on the tax year. In 2022, two sales above $40 million were recorded in December, while 2020 and 2019 each saw one December deal in that price category. There were none in 2021, however.
All of which goes to show you: Trying to nail down trends in Palm Beach real estate is about as easy as predicting the number of sales that will record above $40 million over the next 12 months.
In any case, here’s the roundup of sales that topped the $40 million mark on the island in 2023. Prices and dates were confirmed by sales reports prepared by the Rabideau Klein law firm and documented with the recorded deeds, unless otherwise noted. All of the sales were previously reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.
About $170 million, 589 N. County Road
Car dealer Michael Cantanucci and his wife, Kimberly, in April bought this oceanfront estate from coffee tycoon Robert Stiller and his wife, Christine, setting a new Palm Beach price record in the process. But because of the way the deal was structured, the sales price was never recorded by the Palm Beach County Clerk for the sale of the 20,000-square-foot mansion and its 1.6 acres. Broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens represented the Stillers, and broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate represented the Cantanuccis, the Palm Beach Daily News confirmed.
$155 million, 1495 N. Ocean Blvd.
Estée Lauder cosmetics billionaire William P. Lauder is behind the company that in March bought the former oceanfront compound of the late conservative firebrand Rush Limbaugh in an off-market sale. The 2.65-acre estate — comprising three separate parcels, including the main residence — was sold by Limbaugh’s widow, Kathryn Adams Limbaugh. Lauder has since razed the compound. The Daily News has not confirmed that any real estate agents were involved with the sale.
$100 million, 195 Via Del Mar and 241 Jungle Road
In May, billionaire fashion designer Tom Ford swapped his contemporary-style house on an acre on Jungle Road for the landmarked house of businessman Brian Kosoy and wife, Andrea, on a 1.66-acre lot on Via Del Mar. The off-market deal was valued at $100 million, the Palm Beach Daily News confirmed. Because of the way the off-market deal was structured, using trusts, a dollar amount for the Estate Section transaction was never recorded at the courthouse, nor have the exact terms surfaced in public records. Angle handled both sides of the unusual deal, the Daily News confirmed.
$68.15 million, 149 E. Inlet Drive
A mystery buyer cloaked by the Island Sands Trust in July bought this 11,706-square-foot house on a 1.44-acre site at the “corner” of the Atlantic Ocean and the inlet on the northern tip of Palm Beach. Businessman Myron “Mosie” Miller and his wife, Michelle, sold the house they built as a custom home. Moens negotiated for the sellers opposite agent Madison Collum of One Sotheby’s International Realty.
$66 million, 1350 N. Lake Way
The aforementioned Stillers in April used a limited liability company to buy this 17,032-square-foot lakefront home from an ownership entity controlled by casino billionaire and real estate investor Steve Wynn. He and his wife, Andrea Hissom Wynn, had remodeled the British Colonial-style home on four-fifths of an acre for resale. Moens handled both sides of the transaction.
$63.43 million, 854 S. County Road
In May, a real estate investment group — led by developer Todd Michael Glaser and including Jim Randall of Randall Realty Group — sold this 11,443-square-foot compound on a 2-acre lakeside estate in the Estate Section. The buyer was a limited liability company managed by West Palm Beach attorney Paul Krasker. The Corcoran Group handled both sides, with agent Suzanne Frisbie representing the sellers and agents Dana Koch and Paulette Koch acting for the buyer.
$50 million, 940 N. Lake Way
In July, the estate of the late businessman James “Jimmy” V. Tigani II sold the North End house he had shared with his longtime partner, Corcoran Group real estate agent Mark Bennett. Palm Beach entrepreneur and investor Harvey Jones used a trust in his name to buy the 1970s-era house on the Intracoastal Waterway. Bennett handled the seller’s side. Agents Todd and Frances Peter of Sotheby’s International Realty represented the interests of Jones, who has since demolished the 8,503-square-foot house and has listed the lot of four-fifths of an acre for $59 million.
$44.975 million, 550 S. Ocean Blvd.
Billionaire real estate mogul Dwight Schar and his wife, Martha, in January parted with their landmarked Palm Beach mansion overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The 550 South Ocean trust was listed as the buyer. With 10,328 square feet of total living space on a half-acre lot, the house was listed for sale by Moens. Agent J.B. Edwards of Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer.
$41.38 million, 930 S. Ocean Blvd.
In May, fashion designer and real estate investor Tommy Hilfiger flipped a landmarked house his limited liability company had bought a few months earlier. The 930 S. Ocean Trust was on the buyer’s side. Moens handled both sides of the sale. The house has 7,265 total square feet and stands on a lot measuring two-fifths of an acre.