See how much Jewish Federation paid for new headquarters

jewish-fed

The Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County paid $10.7 million for the 45,000-square-foot office building at 1 Harvard Circle in West Palm Beach, according to property records.

The property will serve as the Jewish Federation’s headquarters, President Michael Hoffman said. The Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches will remain a tenant in the property, he said.

The Jewish Federation has been leasing space since it sold its campus on Community Drive to Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches. The building on Harvard Circle last sold in 1995, for $5.5 million.

Four things to know about Florida Realtors conference

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

I spent Thursday in Orlando at the annual conference of the Florida Realtors. Some thoughts:

100 percent companies are multiplying. The model, which promises agents a bigger share of their commission checks, has gained popularity. La Rosa Realty of Celebration, Florida Capital Realty of Miami and Only Way Realty of South Carolina are among the 100 percent brokers recruiting agents.

Barriers to entry aren’t getting steeper. RealEstateExpress.com is at the trade show marketing its $99 real estate licensing course — a fraction of the $325 to $425 charged by Gold Coast Schools. Many in the real estate industry have griped for decades that it’s too cheap and easy to earn a real estate license, but that’s not changing. Last year, a report by the National Association of Realtors concluded that the thing agents fret most about is “marginal agents” flooding the industry.

Realtors are keenly interested in Internet marketing. Chris Smith, author of The Conversion Code, drew a standing-room-only crowd. Among his insights: Consumers’ online attention spans max out at eight seconds.

The market is back to almost-normal. By my count, trade-show booths paid for by homebuilders outnumbered those bought by short-sale and foreclosure companies.

New priciest listing in Palm Beach: $137 million

1500 S. Ocean. Photo courtesy Sotheby's International Realty
1500 S. Ocean. Photo courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty

Add another entrant to the race to become the first Palm Beach County mansion to crack the $100 million mark. Internet pioneer Jim Clark just put his Palm Beach spread on the market for $137 million.

Clark’s crib is at 1500 S. Ocean Bvld. Zillow says it’s worth $104 mil. Clark helped usher in the 1990s tech boom by bringing the Netscape browser to market. He moved to Palm Beach from Silicon Valley in 1999, when he bought the rundown property for a mere $11 million.

The most expensive house ever sold in Palm Beach County was 515 N. County Road, which fetched $95 million when Donald Trump sold it in 2008. The Ziff estate in Manalapan has been on the market for $195 million since last year.

1500 S. Ocean. Photo courtesy Sotheby's International Realty
1500 S. Ocean. Photo courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty

Five things to know from housing report: Palm Beach County prices still strong

Florida Yard Sign

Palm Beach County home prices backed off a bit in July. Highlights from the report released Wednesday by the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches:

  1. The median price of a home sold in July was $317,250. That’s down slightly from June’s $320,000, but it’s still the second-highest number since the housing crash.
  2. The Palm Beach County median home price is up 11 percent from July 2015. (Palm Beach County’s property appraiser expects values to go up 7 percent to 9 percent this year.)
  3. Sales slowed. There were 1,530 closed deals in July, down 15 percent from a July 2015.
  4. It’s still a seller’s market. Sellers are getting a median of 95.1 percent of their list price, and homes go under contract in 43 days.
  5. The inventory squeeze is loosening a bit. There was a 4.8-month supply of homes in July, up from 4.4 months in July 2015.

See what polo-loving couple plans to do with 100 acres in Wellington

Marc Ganzi nu
Marc Ganzi


The 100-acre Zacara Farm equestrian facility in Wellington now is part of Grand Champions Polo Club.

Polo enthusiasts Marc and Melissa Ganzi paid $27 million for Zacara Farm, according to property records. The deal lets Grand Champion expand its facility from five fields to 10, Marc Ganzi said Tuesday.

“We needed more capacity,” Marc Ganzi said.

The Ganzis are wealthy polo players who aim to bring the sport to the masses. Among their ventures is a nonprofit that teaches kids to play polo for free.

“We’re trying to make polo more accessible,” Ganzi said. “We don’t know where the next great polo player is going to come from.”

 

Boca Raton beverage company extends deal with rapper Flo Rida

Flo Rida (Getty Images)
Flo Rida (Getty Images)

Ryan Lochte is losing endorsement deals, but rapper Flo Rida just re-upped his pact with Celsius, the super-caffeinated drink made by Celsius Holdings Inc. of Boca Raton.

Celsius said Tuesday that it renewed a 30-month “partnership agreement” with Flo Rida, a deal that includes ads, concerts, appearances and social media mentions. Celsius didn’t disclose financial terms.

For 2015, the penny stock firm reported a loss of $2.1 million on sales of $17.2 million.

Flo Rida, known for the hits “Low” and “My House,” also has an endorsement deal with Empire Rockefeller Vodka.

Five things to know about a new WPB condo

Condo planned by Great Gulf of Canada on 1515 S. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach
Condo planned by Great Gulf of Canada on 1515 S. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach

So Canadian developer Great Gulf is teaming with the owner of the former 1515 Tower land to build a new luxury tower along Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach.

The property is at 1515 S. Flagler Drive, once home to the crumbly 1515 tower, and then briefly planned as the very large Modern condo.

Toronto-based Great Gulf just submitted plans to the city of West Palm Beach to build a different condo plan on the waterfront property.

So what does Great Gulf plan to build? Here are five things to know:

  1. Less is more. Sure, Great Gulf could build the same mass as approved for the never-built Modern condo. But the company doesn’t want to. Great Gulf’s Christopher Wein thinks a condo would look and perform better if it could “breathe” and have better site lines for residents and nearby neighbors. So Wein said he “right-sized” the old Modern design. Great Gulf’s tower will be slimmer, about half the mass of the Modern’s design. This means condo units will be roughly 2,000 square feet, about half of the Modern’s size, and cost between $1 million to $3 million.
  2. Visuals are everything. To sell the idea to the city, Great Gulf used a 3-D printer to create a model of its design and a model of the Modern condo design. The Great Gulf model ended up being slim enough fit into the Modern design, a visual that impressed city officials and made it easier to imagine the building when completed.
  3. The condo may be thinner, but it still will be tall. Great Gulf expects to go up 27 stories for 84 units. This means the unnamed condo still would tower over the neighborhood just as the 1515 Tower did, before it was demolished in 2010 following damage from hurricanes.
  4. Wein is really into aesthetics. He doesn’t like the notion of a building that’s “heavy on the skyline,” as he put it. He also doesn’t like a design that feels like it’s going to fall on you as you walk by. So he’s proud the plans features lots of landscaping and hefty setbacks, including along Flagler Drive. “Toward Flagler, it really steps down. We want (people) to get a sense of lush, beautiful landscaping,” Wein said. “We’re very big on landscaping.”
  5. Once approved, expect the tower to go up quickly. Great Gulf is a fully-integrated company, which means it has its own in-house construction, design, sales and marketing team.

See how much Palm Beach County’s priciest commercial properties appreciated

The Breakers is No. 3 on the list of most valuable properties in Palm Beach County.
The Breakers is worth $224 million, according to the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser.

Palm Beach County’s prominent commercial properties have seen mostly measured appreciation over the past two years. One exception: The Darth Vader building, which sold in March for $68 million.

The property’s value has more than doubled in the past two years, according to the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s Office, which released its estimates of 2016 values this week.

The Mall at Wellington Green also rocketed in value. It sold in 2014 for $341 million, the highest price ever paid for a Palm Beach County property. A sampling:

Northbridge Center (office, West Palm Beach)

2014 value: $18 million

2016 value: $38.4 million

Two-year change: 113 percent

Mall at Wellington Green (retail, Wellington)

2014 value: $132.8 million

2016 value: $246 million

Two-year change: 85 percent

Gardens Mall (retail, Palm Beach Gardens)

2014 value: $220 million

2016 value: $297.8 million

Two-year change: 35 percent

Breakers Palm Beach (hotel, Palm Beach)

2014 value: $173.9 million

2016 value: $223.8 million

Two-year change: 29 percent

Phillps Point west tower (office, West Palm Beach)

2014 value: $55.3 million

2016 value: $77.8 million

Two-year change: 41 percent

Phillips Point east tower (office, West Palm Beach)

2014 value: $55.6 million

2016 value: $75.2 million

Two-year change: 35 percent

Town Center Mall (retail, Boca Raton)

2014 value: $365 million

2016 value: $460 million

Two-year change: 26 percent

CityPlace tower (office, West Palm Beach)

2014 value: $101.1 million

2016 value: $123.3 million

Two-year change: 23 percent

Boca Raton Resort & Club (hotel, Boca Raton)

2014 value: $159.1 million

2016 value: $197.6 million

Two-year change: 24 percent

Luxe Boca condo gets big money loan

327 Royal Palm, a luxury condo under construction in downtown Boca Raton
327 Royal Palm, a luxury condo under construction in downtown Boca Raton

Downtown Boca Raton’s newest luxury condo just landed a $19.7 million construction loan, putting 327 Royal Palm one step closer to completion.

The lender is Banesco USA, said condo developer Ignacio Diaz, of Group P6.

Even though Group P6 just wrapped up financing, construction already is underway on the nine-story condo, at 327 E. Royal Palm Road just west of the Intracoastal Waterway off of Palmetto Park Road.

Diaz said foundation work is nearing completion, including construction of a two-level underground garage.

Diaz expects construction of the building above ground to start in about six weeks, with completion set for late 2017.

So far the condo is about 50 percent sold. The project features 24 units, ranging in price from $1.6 million to $2.9 million.

Units average 3,200 square feet and can go up to three bedrooms. One buyer combined units to create a 7,000 square foot residence, a trend noted by developers of the Azure condo under construction now in Palm Beach Gardens.

Diaz expects this coming winter season to be a strong one for sales. The presidential election, which always creates some uncertainty, will be over.

And thus far, 327 Royal Palm is the only Boca Raton condo planned for downtown that’s actually under construction, Diaz said.

Diaz said buyers are more motivated when they “see a tower” and a building rising from the ground.

But Diaz isn’t writing off the summer. During what is typically a sluggish sales time, Diaz said the project recently snared two reservations, which Diaz hopes will be converted to contracts soon.

 

 

 

 

See how much Palm Beach County’s priciest mansions appreciated

Oceanfront mansion values are soaring in Manalapan (at least for one huge oceanfront estate), on the rise in Delray Beach and surprisingly tepid in Palm Beach. That’s according to an unscientific spot check of the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s latest valuations for tax purposes.

The 16-acre Ziff estate at 2000 S. Ocean Blvd. in Manalapan

The nation’s most expensive residential listing is on the market for $195 million. While the market values of smaller oceanfront properties in Manalapan rose slightly, the value of this parcel soared. The jump would cause the property taxes to soar, from less than $700,000 in 2014 to more than $1 million this year. How the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser sees it:

2014 value: $40.05 million

2016 value: $89.2 million

Two-year change: 123 percent

515 N. County Road in Palm Beach

Fetching $95 million back in 2008, it’s the most expensive home ever sold in Palm Beach County. But its value dropped from 2015 to 2016, the county property appraiser says.

2014 value: $71.15 million

2016 value: $81.62 million

Two-year change: 15 percent

548 N. County Road in Palm Beach

Nelson Peltz has owned this estate for nearly three decades.

2014 value: $75.48 million

2016 value: $86.38 million

Two-year change: 14 percent

1495 N. Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach

Rush Limbaugh’s compound also lost value from 2015 to 2016.

2014 value: $44.44 million

2016 value: $50.72 million

Two-year change: 14 percent

921 S. Ocean Blvd. in Delray Beach

This oceanfront manse sold this year, setting the record for most expensive sale in Delray.

2014 value: $20 million

2016 value: $28.17 million

Two-year change: 41 percent