Palm Beach real estate: 3 spec house sales in a week top $10M each – Palm Beach Daily News

Three never-lived-in houses developed on speculation changed hands in Palm Beach at prices recorded this week ranging from $10.67 million to $13.53 million.
The sales not only helped fuel what’s become an unusually busy summer for real estate, but also arguably demonstrated the appeal of move-in ready houses to buyers shopping during the coronavirus pandemic. The deeds link all of the buyers to the Northeast, an area hard hit by the health crisis.
All three houses— at 101 Gulfstream Road, 251 Dunbar Road and 111 Atlantic Ave. — were completed this year and landed under contract in early June. That was a little less than three months after town officials enacted their first emergency order in response COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.
Brown Harris Stevens agent John O. Pickett III, a past president of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors, was not involved in any of the sales but spoke generally about the appeal of new spec houses to buyers in Palm Beach. Competition for those properties has escalated over the past few months, he said.
“People are looking for immediate occupancy,” Pickett said. “A lot of people want to come to Florida, whether it’s COVID-related or whether they’re looking for tax (relief). When people want out (of a place), they want out quickly. That’s causing this attraction to the new. They want to bring their toothbrush and a couple of suitcases and be good to go.”
A search of Palm Beach properties Wednesday in the multiple listing service showed at least four other spec houses — including one finishing up construction — under contract. Their prices range from about $6.8 million to $14.7 million.
Here are details about the three developer spec houses that sold via deeds recorded Monday.
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On Gulfstream Road
Developer Frisbie Group sold its five-bedroom house at 101 Gulfstream Road for a recorded $13.525 million.
On the buyer’s side was the ChubbyChooChoo Trust, for which Boston-based attorney Oliver F. Ames Jr. of Casner & Edwards acted as trustee. The deed lists the trust’s address as an estate in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, owned by Mark T. and Elizabeth A. Massey, according to the latest online Massachusetts property records. Other online sources show a Mark T. Massey co-founded AltaRock Partners LLC, a Massachusetts-based hedge fund.
Frisbie Group acquired the property vacant a couple of years ago as part of its $26.3 million purchase of the old Charley’s Crab restaurant facing Midtown Beach. The developer razed the restaurant and is building four ultra-luxury townhouses on the property. The Mediterranean-style house that just sold stands on a lot of a third of an acre immediately west of the townhouse project.
The house has 9,034 square feet of living space, inside and out, according to the sales listing prepared by Premier Estate Properties agent Suzanne Frisbie, a principal at Frisbie Group.
Broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate handled the buyer’s side of the sale, according to the local multiple listing service.
Frisbie listed the house in late November for $15.5 million, the MLS shows. She and Angle had it under contract June 9, and the sale closed July 2.
Frisbie, who also represented the seller of the house on Atlantic Ave., described both properties as “premium ocean-block homes of exceptional quality.” She would not provide any other details about the transactions.
Angle declined to comment, and Ames and the Masseys couldn’t be reached.
Frisbie’s sales listing stressed the house’s “high elevation” — a nod at the strict flood-plain building codes that must be met by any new construction near the ocean.
The house has beamed ceilings, hardwood floors and a layout that includes a living room with a fireplace, a library and a kitchen open to the family room, according to the images accompanying Frisbie’s sales listing. A loggia faces the pool and its whirlpool spa. The layout also includes a two-car garage and a separate pool pavilion with a cabana bathroom.
Robert Frisbie Jr., an executive at Frisbie Group, signed the deed as manager of 456 South Ocean LLC, the limited liability company that sold the house.
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On Dunbar Road
The five-bedroom house at 251 Dunbar Road was sold for a recorded $12.365 million by a company managed by its developer, Franklyn P. de Marco Jr., who co-owns Taboo restaurant on Worth Avenue. De Marco lives near the house with Sotheby’s International Realty agent Betsy Fry, who was involved in its development and specified the interior finishes and materials. Fry listed the house for sale May 1 at $13.75 million, the MLS shows.
Alexandra “Alexia” Hersey Hamm Ryan, who is married to Baird Ryan, bought the house as trustee of a revocable trust in her name, the deed shows.
With ties to New York City, Alexia Ryan has family in Palm Beach. Her mother, Candace Hamm, owns a house on the North End, which she shared with her late husband, investor William H. Hamm III. He was part of the family that founded Hamm’s Brewery, a company acquired by Miller Brewing Co.
Broker Linda Gary of Linda A. Gary Real Estate handled the buyer’s side of the sale on Dunbar Road. She declined to comment, and Alexia Ryan couldn’t be reached.
Completed this year, the house has 8,550 square feet of living space, inside and out. The property was under contract by June 10 and the sale closed June 30.
“It’s a nice home and a great neighborhood,” de Marco said. “We’re delighted to have nice new neighbors.”
Fry’s sales listing mentioned the house’s hardwood, slate and marble floors; bar with dual wine coolers, a living room with a pair of fireplaces; a formal dining room and a separate family room. The kitchen opens to a loggia and patio designed for indoor-outdoor entertaining, and there’s a cabana by the pool.
The residence replaced one that was owned by the late artist and fashion designer Linda Rossbach, who died in September 2017. De Marco’s limited liability company, 251 Dunbar LLC, paid $5 million for the property in May 2018, property records show. Fry handled the buyer’s side of that deal opposite her Sotheby’s colleague Carole Ruhlman.
De Marco and Fry live on the same street at 170 Dunbar Road. Their other residential projects include a spec house — at 201 Dunbar Road — just down the street from the one that just changed hands. Fry has that house listed at $12.45 million.
On Atlantic Avenue
Developer Todd Michael Glaser and a group of investors sold, for a recorded $10.665 million, the second of the two side-by-side spec houses his company developed on Atlantic Avenue.
The house at 111 Atlantic Ave. also is just down the street from the corner lot where rocker Jon Bon Jovi has a sale pending for a custom home he built with his wife, Dorothea Hurley.
On the buyer’s side of 111 Atlantic was the PB Beach House Trust, for which attorney John F. McInerny of Bethesda, Maryland, serves as trustee. He couldn’t be reached, and no other information about the trust was immediately available in public records.
The contemporary-style house with Art Deco influences has seven bedrooms and 7,536 square feet of living space, inside and out. Three wings wrap around a central courtyard that is accessed or overlooked by many of the rooms.
Architectural details include pipe-style balcony railings, projecting “eyebrows” over some of the windows and bas-relief details that recall those on Art Deco-style buildings from the 1920s and ’30s.
Frisbie had the house listed at $12.9 million, down from the $14.9 million price it carried when it entered the local multiple listing service in April 2019 during construction. The sale closed July 2, about a month after the property landed under contract.
The MLS did not identify any agent and agency who acted on behalf of the buyer.
On the north side of Atlantic Avenue, the lot measures about four-tenths of an acre. It’s the third house west of North Ocean Boulevard, a seven-block long stretch of the coastal road that runs along a private beach.
Frisbie’s sales listing described the property’s nine fountains and “carefully curated gardens” designed by Nievera Williams Design. On the west side of the house is a lap pool with a sun-shelf and whirlpool spa.
Glaser’s investment group included former Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine, a former Miami Beach mayor; Miami developer Jonathan Fryd; and developer Scott Robins, president and CEO of Scott Robins Cos. in Miami Beach.
In October 2018, Glaser’s limited liability company, 111 Atlantic Avenue LLC, paid $9 million for what was then a double lot. The property measured three-quarters of an acre and had an outdated house on the east side. Glaser divided the property, razed the house and built his two spec homes.
The one on the west side — a smaller Mediterranean-style house at 113 Atlantic Ave. — sold for a recorded $9.41 million in February. That house has five bedrooms and 6,415 total square feet on about a third of an acre.
In the 2018 purchase, Glaser and his investors were represented by agents Whitney McGurk and Liza Pulitzer of Brown Harris Stevens. Agent Tom Shaw, then of Douglas Elliman Real Estate but today with Sotheby’s International Realty, acted for the seller.
Glaser and his wife, Kim, who own a lakeside home in Palm Beach, last month paid $17 million for Villa Fontana, a landmarked house they plan to restore at 127 Dunbar Road near the ocean. Broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates handled both sides of that sale.


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