By Alexandra Clough and Darrell Hofheinz, Palm Beach Daily News
“Prices and dates were confirmed by sales reports prepared by the Rabideau Klein law firm and documented with recorded deeds”
The 2022-23 season was a record period for home sale prices in Palm Beach, which saw eye-popping sales pushing home prices to new heights, including two sales in the nine-figure range.
Overall, however, the season was slower than the prior period.
“I’d call it a dust-settling season,” said John O. Pickett III, president of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors and an agent with Brown Harris Stevens. “It feels to me like the market is trying to find normal footing again.”
Pickett said sales have gone from the “crazy activity” of 2020 into early 2022, when pandemic-fueled moves saw people buying properties at any cost, to what he described as a more normal pace. “When $10 million houses are on the market for hours, not days, that’s not realistic,” Pickett said.
In a sense, the on-off nature of home sales was a return to years prior when premium homes continued their muscular sales activity, while lower-priced properties lingered longer on the market.
But this season still was punctuated by bursts of activity that saw notable properties trade hands, often in off-market sales that took some in the industry by surprise.
Driving up the median price this season were two blockbuster deals: a sale believed to be about $170 million, which set a new record sales price for the island in April; and in March, a $155 million sale that demonstrated the continued allure of trophy properties, especially waterfront or newer construction.
Overall, nine sales topped $30 million in Palm Beach for the eight-month period between September 1, 2022 and May 1.
With the first quarter seeing some of the highest prices on record, “demand for premium properties remains strong,” according to a report written by Suzanne Frisbie, a Corcoran Group agent. “Palm Beach continues to offer prudent investment opportunities matched with an unparalleled quality of life,” Frisbie wrote in her report.
Here’s the rundown of the season’s top single-family property sales, all above $30 million, in Palm Beach. Prices and dates were confirmed by sales reports prepared by the Rabideau Klein law firm and documented with recorded deeds, unless otherwise noted. All sales were previously reported by the Palm Beach Daily News,
The list also includes a record-setting condo sale, recorded in December.
About $170 million, 589 N. County Road: The off-market purchase in April reportedly was made by high-end car dealer Michael Cantanucci. The amount sets a new Palm Beach single-property price record and is likely the second-highest-ever residential sale in Florida.
The sellers, Green Mountain Coffee founder Robert Stiller, and his wife Christine, had owned the 20,000-square-foot home since 2014 through a trust called Oceanview Trust. The estate measures 1.6 acres with about 153 feet of direct beachfront, according to property records.
Broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens represented the Stillers in the private sale of their direct-beachfront mansion. A deed recording the sales price and buyer’s identity had not been filed as of Wednesday. Broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate represented the buyers.
$155 million, 1495 N. Ocean Blvd.: Cosmetics billionaire William P. Lauder is behind the company that in March paid this princely sum for the former Palm Beach compound of the late conservative firebrand Rush Limbaugh.
The estate — comprising three separate parcels, including the main house at 1495 N. Ocean Blvd. — was sold in an off-market deal by Limbaugh’s widow and fourth wife, Kathryn Adams Limbaugh. The 2.65-acre estate was home for more than two decades to Limbaugh, who died there at age 70 in 2021. Facing about 250 feet of beachfront, the property lies on the far North End of the island near the inlet.
Lauder’s family has deep roots in Palm Beach. He is executive chairman of The Estée Lauder Cos., the cosmetics empire named for his grandmother. His net worth is estimated at $3.6 billion by Forbes.com.
$66 million, 1350 N. Lake Way: The Stillers, who just sold their oceanfront mansion for the record-setting price of $170 million, last month downsized to this lakefront house, which has 13,375 square feet of living space, inside and out.
The Stillers paid $66 million for the home, according to the Palm Beach Multiple Listing Service.
Casino billionaire and real estate investor Steve Wynn sold the Stillers the investment home he and his wife, Andrea Hissom Wynn, remodeled on speculation on a lot facing the Intracoastal Waterway. The seven-bedroom house faces 156 feet of lake frontage and a deep-water dock.
Broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens is said to have handled both sides of the sale.
$66 million, 6 Via Los Incas: This house on the North End of Palm Beach changed hands privately in December after selling in June 2021 for $35.43 million, according to the recorded deeds.
Built in 1981 on a lot measuring six-tenths of an acre, the 9,775-square-foot house stands directly on the beach with 125 feet of shoreline on the North End. The new owner is Australian billionaire and mining mogul Gina Rinehart and, perhaps, one of her family members, sources told the Palm Beach Daily News.
The deeds show that two limited liability companies, both registered in Delaware, were the buyers. Because of Delaware’s corporate privacy laws, no information about the two entities was available in public records.
The seller’s identity was equally shrouded. The house was sold by a Delaware company named Sunshine Home 5 LLC. The company is linked in public records to HRS Management LLC, a family office founded by Josh Harris, who co-founded private-equity firm Apollo Global Management.
Real estate sources said Douglas Elliman Real Estate agents Phatavanh and Derek Olsen represented the buyer. Broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate handled the seller’s side of the sale.
$51 million, 241 Jungle Road: After selling in the summer of 2021 for $35.75 million, this contemporary-style house in Palm Beach changed hands in December, according to recorded deeds.
Fashion designer Tom Ford is the buyer behind a trust that bought the house, the Palm Beach Daily News reported.
Private-equity specialist Rob Heyvaert sold the house and guesthouse through RH Real Estate Organization LLC, a Delaware company he controls, the deed shows.
The estate comprises two single-story buildings with 12,914 square feet of living space, inside and out, according to property records. Broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate was the only real estate broker or agent involved in this off-market sale.
$44.975 million, 550 S. Ocean Blvd.: Billionaire real estate mogul Dwight Schar and his wife, Martha, in January have parted with their landmarked Palm Beach mansion overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
The 550 South Ocean trust was listed as the buyer. No other information about the buyer was available in public records.
With 100 feet of shoreline on its narrow beach parcel, the Mediterranean-style house is separated from the beach by the coastal road. The residence has five bedrooms and 10,328 square feet of living space inside and out, property records show. The house was designed by noted society architect Maurice Fatio and built in 1930.
The house was listed for sale by broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates. Agent J.B. Edwards of Sotheby’s International Realty represented the buyer.
$36.85 million, 930 S. Ocean Blvd.: In January, real estate broker Lawrence A. Moens sold his personal residence to fashion icon and real estate investor Tommy Hilfiger.
The two-story, four-bedroom house and one-bedroom guest quarters have 7,265 square feet of living space, inside and out, including a 500-square-foot basement with a brick-detailed wine room and tasting area.
The deed shows the seller was a company controlled by Moens, who acted as his own agent in the off-market sale. Agent Jim McCann of Premier Estate Properties handled the buyer’s side of the sale. The deed lists the buying entity as TCM1 LLC, a Connecticut company at which Hilfiger is a principal.
With Florentine Renaissance-inspired architecture, the house the Hilfiger-controlled company bought was designed in 1929 and built on speculation by Fatio. Hilfiger doesn’t seem wedded to the landmarked house, however. A month after he bought it, he listed it for sale for $47.95 million.
$34.9 million, 107 Dolphin Road: The off-market sale in January lists the buyer of the 1950s-era house as 47th LLC, a Delaware-registered company. The buyer’s name echoes TT 47th LLC, an entity that bought 6 Via Los Incas. The companies are believed to be linked to Rinehart, the Australian billionaire.
Commercial real estate developer Irwin B. Ackerman and his wife, Mary K. Ackerman were the sellers on Dolphin Road. Agent Stephen Ploof of Douglas Elliman Real Estate represented the sellers. Agent Michelle Hall of Sotheby’s International Realty acted for the buyer.
Among the house’s selling points: a dune-access path to the ocean and a community beach cabana opposite the property.
$32.067 million, 220 Jungle Road: In December, Developer Richard True and Courchene Development in December privately sold a new house they built on “spec” to a trust. The six-bedroom, Mediterranean-style house has about 9,000 square feet of living space, inside and out, according to the plans approved in 2019 by the Architectural Commission.
The identity of the buyer behind the trust could not be determined.
True heads Cushing Investments LLC and is a real estate agent with the Corcoran Group. Broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate handled the buyer’s side of the sale.
$23.75 million, Leverett House: An entity linked to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in December bought a penthouse at the Leverett House, setting a new price record for a condominium in Palm Beach.
The billionaire bought the oceanfront apartment — No. E4B in the east building at 110 Sunset Ave. — and a poolside cabana through a Delaware-registered company named Leverett House PB LLC.
The condo spans the entire ocean side of the four-story, direct-beachfront building, the easternmost of the two mid-rises that comprise the Leverett House.
Dana and Paulette Koch of Corcoran Group represented the sellers. One of the deeds list as a seller Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.; Rachel Ming Wolf and India Lin Wolf. Lin was married to the late Mark Daniel Wolf, whose parents bought the penthouse in 2000 for $6 million and owned it until their deaths.
Broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate represented Kraft.