Despite rich value of Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Trump loses tax appeals

President Donald Trump’s golf club here is among the mostly richly valued courses in the county, a fact that would seem to bolster his argument that he’s routinely overtaxed on the Trump National Golf Club.

However, special magistrates twice have ruled against Trump’s appeals of his property tax bill to the Value Adjustment Board. And experts in golf course appraisals say valuing the properties can be a tricky task.


Jupiter Golf Club LLC, owner of the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, this month sued the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser to contest the course’s taxable value of $18.4 million.

That estimate means the property appraiser values the course’s 131 acres of land zoned for golf at $140,802 per acre. Only the Palm Beach Country Club — located just a chip shot from the ocean — is worth more, at $149,956 per acre.

By that calculation, Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter is worth more per acre than every other course in the county, including St. Andrews Country Club in Boca Raton ($119,450 per acre) and the Breakers’ course in Palm Beach ($113,055 per acre).

While Palm Beach County houses near the ocean are valued at a premium, experts on valuing golf courses say a prime location isn’t always the main driver of value.

“Forget about price per acre. Forget about closer to the ocean,” said Larry Hirsch, an appraiser in Pennsylvania and author of Golf Property Analysis and Valuation: A Modern Approach. “The way you evaluate a property like that is based on its economics, and how much money it makes.”

Golden Bear Plaza in Palm Beach Gardens fetches big money

Golden Bear Plaza, the 245-673-square-foot office complex in Palm Beach Gardens, has changed hands for $62.3 million, brokerage CBRE Group said Monday.

The property at 11750 U.S. Highway 1 fetched $254 a square foot.

The new owner is Alliance Partners HSP, a unit of Shidler Group of Pennsylvania, CBRE said. Neil Merin of NAI Merin Hunter Codman and CBRE’s Christian Lee and José Antonio Lobón represented the seller, Equus Capital Partners, Ltd.

The office complex sold in 1997 for $51.5 million and in 2003 for $32.25 million, according to property records. The complex has nearly 42,000 square feet of empty space, CBRE said.


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New Jersey investor flips warehouses once owned by Fred Keller

Warehouses on 42nd Terrace

In a quick flip, several warehouse properties in central Palm Beach County sold for $7.6 million, according to commercial real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield. They previously traded in October for $5.2 million, according to property records.

All three properties once were part of the warehouse empire amassed by the late Fred Keller, who killed his estranged wife in 2003 and died in prison in 2007. The Silverman Group of Short Hills, New Jersey, last year paid $50 million for Keller’s industrial portfolio. The properties involved in the latest deal:

  • 6677–6687 North 42nd Terrace, a two-building campus totaling 34,520 square feet in Riviera Beach. The metal buildings feature ceilings of 11 to 15 feet.
  • Dyer Business Park, a two-building campus totaling 33,600 square feet at 4574 Dyer Boulevard in West Palm Beach.
  • Westroads Industrial Park, a three-building campus totaling 27,600 square feet. The buildings are at 42494255 and 4261 Westroads Drive in Riviera Beach.

The sale price amounts to $79 per square foot. The properties were 99 percent leased.

Brokering the deal were Greg MillerScott O’Donnell and Dominic Montazemi of Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE’s Robert Smith, Kirk Nelson and Jeff Kelly. The seller was The Silverman Group of Short Hills, New Jersey. The buyer is Palm Tree Industrial LLC of Palm Beach.



West Palm Beach apartment rents up 3.5% over past year, survey says

West Palm Beach apartment rents rose 3.5 percent over the past year to reach a median of $1,330 a month in June, according to research by Apartment List.

That price is for a two-bedroom unit. West Palm Beach is one of the cheapest apartment markets in South Florida, Apartment List says.

Boca Raton, on the other hand, is one of the most expensive. The typical two-bedroom unit there goes for $1,800. Boynton Beach isn’t far behind, at $1,630 a month.

Builder buys Bonnette Hunt Club, to put up 28 houses

Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post

The Bonnette Hunt Club in Palm Beach Gardens once counted among its regulars Burt Reynolds, Bing Crosby, Jack Nicklaus, King Hussein, Lawton Chiles and Claude Kirk Jr.

Now the iconic site will give way to 28 new homes. Parkwood Distinctive Homes this month paid $2.55 million for the property at 5307 and 5309 Hood Road, said Lynn B. Telling of Illustrated Properties.

The 2,400-square-foot homes will be at $500,000 and $800,000, said Telling, who brokered the deal for the seven-acre property.

Troubled “Tesla of fertilizer” disappears, fails to open huge plant in Clewiston

The erstwhile “Tesla of fertilizer” is no more. BioNitrogen Holdings, a company once headquartered in West Palm Beach and once headed by a Palm Beach entrepreneur, failed to emerge from bankruptcy.

The company filed for Chapter 11 in late 2015, and a monthslong marketing process yielded just one interested buyer of its assets, according to court documents.

Back in early 2015, entrepreneur Bryan Kornegay touted big plans for turning tree trimmings into fertilizer. He aimed to build a $300 million plant in job-starved Clewiston, and another $300 million factory in Taylor County in North Florida.

Kornegay, a former private equity executive who lives in Palm Beach, pitched his process as a pollution-free way to transform landscaping waste into feed for sugar fields, citrus groves and golf courses.

“We’re the Tesla of fertilizer,” Kornegay said in an interview, referring to the maker of electric cars.

(Note to investors, lenders and economic developers: Beware of snazzy start-ups that sum up their business models by name-dropping another hot company. DayJet, the Boca Raton company that met the same fate as BioNitrogen, once called itself “Tivo for travel.”)

Despite the tall talk, Kornegay’s company had no revenue, and it faced a lawsuit from a Canadian company that said BioNitrogen failed to repay an $845,000 loan with a hefty interest rate of 30 percent.

BioNitrogen later moved to Miami, and Kornegay left the company.



Frank McCourt sells property across the street from Bill Gates’ properties in Wellington’s horse country

Former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt just sold a nine-acre parcel in Wellington for $12 million, according to property records.

The deed identifies the buyer as Elite Equestrian Estates LLC of New Haven, Connecticut. The deal includes a seven-acre property at 13700 Quarter Horse Trail and two acres at 13664 Quarter Horse Trail, both in Wellington’s Mallet Hill neighborhood.

While the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser shows buildings on one of the parcels, the sites were marketed as vacant land. The land is just south of Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates’ assemblage of properties. Gates has spent $27 million on Wellington real estate in recent years.

Feeling richer? Florida ranks No. 4 in personal income growth

(Getty Images)

Personal incomes in Florida grew by 1.3 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of this year, the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis said Tuesday.

That was the fourth-fastest pace in the nation. Florida posted a tepid 0.1 percent growth in income from the third quarter to the fourth quarter.

Idaho’s 1.6 percent growth led all states. Nebraska’s 0.1 percent decline ranked last.

See how much financier paid for oceanfront mansion in Lost Tree Village

Wisconsin financier Andrew Ziegler just dropped $22 million on a 14,565-square-foot mansion at 11870 Turtle Beach Road in unincorporated Palm Beach County, according to property records.

The oceanfront spread in Lost Tree Village last sold in 2003 for $11.3 million. The seller is Desmo Realties of Montreal.

Neighbors include Wall Street billionaire Kenneth Langone, beer billionaire Jude Reyes and coal billionaire Chris Cline.

Ziegler, 59, was the co-founder and managing partner of Artisan Partners, an investment firm with $100 billion under management. He retired in 2014. Ziegler also owns a 13,658-square-foot spread in Wellington, which is on the market for $16.5 million.

His nearly 3.5 million shares in Artisan Partners Asset Management (NYSE: APAM) are worth about $100 million.