Thousands of dresses from Alfred Angelo’s inventory to be auctioned next month

Looking for a deal on a wedding gown? Thousands of dresses from the inventory of failed bridal chain Alfred Angelo could be auctioned next month.

The bankruptcy trustee assigned to the case has proposed an auction for Sept. 2 in Deerfield Beach. If the judge approves, the sale would be run by auctioneer Stan Crooks, president of Auction America in West Palm Beach.

NEW: Former employee of Alfred Angelo says company violated 248 workers’ rights with abrupt layoff 

Crooks said Alfred Angelo’s inventory includes 5,000 to 10,000 wedding party gowns, plus supplies such as warehouse racks, commercial sewing machines and a pallet jack.

Crooks said he plans to bring a mirror, just in case any brides-to-be want to try on dresses.

The auctioneer will add a 10 percent buyer’s premium to each final bid price, according to court documents. Auction America also will get “reasonable and documented expenses” up to $18,000.

Delray Beach-based Alfred Angelo, a bridal chain with stores throughout the nation, abruptly ceased operations in July.

Jeb Bush on Donald Trump’s tweets: “Someone oughta grab the damn phone”

Jeb Bush says he approves of many of President Donald Trump’s political appointments, but he’s not keen on the president’s approach to negotiating peace in Korea. The two-term Florida governor says Trump’s rash approach is creating uncertainty — and he wishes the president would stop tweeting.

“Someone oughta grab the damn phone and stop allowing him to create this uncertainty,” Bush said Tuesday at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference in Los Angeles.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush signs off on $310 million in state money for Scripps Florida. Photo by Chris Matula/The Palm Beach Post

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: President Donald Trump in Palm Beach

Bush went into the 2016 election as the Republican favorite but was vanquished by Trump, who famously mocked Jeb’s “low energy.” Bush said he tries to look beyond Trump’s harsh words.

“There are some good deeds,” Bush said. “He has made some good appointments.”

Bush also expressed skepticism about the border wall that is the centerpiece of Trump’s immigration policy.

“We have one in many places — I don’t know if you’ve been there,” Bush said. “There is a wall.”

Meanwhile, Bush said that if his bid for the Miami Marlins is approved, he won’t embark on a spending spree on free agents and instead aims to “build the team patiently.”

“Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap, which is what you have to self-impose as an owner,” Bush said. “You have to have the discipline to identify players the right way … There’s no correlation between high salaries and winning.”

Bush and former New York Yankee Derek Jeter are leading a group bidding to buy the Marlins from oft-maligned owner Jeffrey Loria.

Bush seemed unconcerned about baseball’s dwindling popularity.

“Every sport has to focus on the fact that millennials are very different,” Bush said.



Prison operator GEO Group leads stocks in first 100 days of Trump administration

Donald Trump on Super Tuesday. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Reviews of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office have been decidedly mixed. But there’s no debating this fact: Shares of Boca Raton-based GEO Group have been on a tear since Jan. 20.

Investors expect the private prison operator, which runs detention centers for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will house more inmates in a Trump administration. Shares of GEO closed Jan. 19 (the day before the inauguration) at $29.05. Monday, they closed at $39.20, up 26 percent.

Plus, the real estate investment trust pays a healthy dividend of more than 5 percent. After a 3-for-2 split, GEO Group trade in the $33 range on Tuesday.

Socially responsible investors might recoil at such a play: The company has been cited time and again by federal and state regulators for horrid conditions at its facilities.


Your first look inside All Aboard Florida’s Brightline passenger-rail cars

The Palm Beach Post got an exclusive look inside the passenger cars of All Aboard Florida’s Brightline passenger-rail service.

View of a Brightline locomotive under construction at the Siemens plant in Sacramento, Tuesday June 7, 2016, in Sacramento. (Jeff Ostrowski / The Palm Beach Post)
View of a Brightline locomotive under construction at the Siemens plant in Sacramento, Tuesday June 7, 2016, in Sacramento. (Jeff Ostrowski / The Palm Beach Post)

The cars, which are being built in Sacramento, California, feature electrical outlets and roomy seating, along with bathrooms that will offer a “shockingly different experience” than those on airplanes said Brightline President Michael Reininger.

» Read The Post’s full story on the trains

The Post also got a first look at one of the Brightline locomotives under construction. Until now, only renderings of the trains had been released by Brightline.

Bobbi Kristina Brown’s former Atlanta townhome is on the market

Bobbi Kristina Brown and her mother, Whitney Houston, in 2011. (Getty Images)
Bobbi Kristina Brown and her mother, Whitney Houston, in 2011. (Getty Images)

The former home of Bobbi Kristina Brown is on the market in the Atlanta suburbs.

Brown, the daughter of pop superstar Whitney Houston and musician Bobby Brown, died July 26 after being found unresponsive in a bathtub Jan. 31.

According to a listing for the townhome, at 9046 Riverbend Manor in Alpharetta, the 2,600-square-foot home is priced at $469,000. It last sold in September 2010 for $440,000.

Here’s the description of the house, via Zillow:

“Exclusive gated community situated on the Chattahoochee River with top amenities, including clubhouse, swim/tennis, park, pet walk & private walking trails. Luxury Craftsman-European style townhome w/open floor plan, great room, gourmet kitchen, coffered ceilings & built-ins w/attention to detail. Spacious master suite features fireplace & built-ins w/spa bath. Two additional guest suites w/private baths. Professionally finished terrace level, including elevator. Excellent schools.”

Photos of the home show architectural touches, including built-in bookshelves and a fireplace in a sitting room, and decorative pieces like an elephant-base bar with two stools.

According to Zillow, Robin Consor, of Keller Williams Realty Consultants, is the listing agent.

Controversy has surrounded Brown’s death, with some members of her family accusing her boyfriend, Nick Gordon, of injecting her with a “toxic cocktail” that led to her passing.

Her funeral was disrupted by an outburst by one of her relatives.

See more photos of the townhome on the Zillow listing.

Despite national drop, is Palm Beach County still a seller’s market?

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Home sales across the United States recorded a sharp plunge in November, but Palm Beach County remains a seller’s market, a local Realtor group said Tuesday.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes collapsed 10.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million. It was the weakest pace in 19 months.

But the numbers were a lot more robust in Palm Beach County. Single family home sales here registered a 7.4 percent increase, from 1,104 to 1,186 transactions. The median sale price also showed a healthy 11.3 percent gain, from $265,012 to $295,000.

“Although we are still in a seller’s market, November statistics showed signs that we are moving towards a more neutral real estate market that favors neither seller nor buyer,” said Matt Halperin, president of the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches, in a statement. “The median sale price for single family homes is leveling, and months’ supply of inventory is continuing to inch towards the benchmark for equality.”

Still, sellers had to wait fewer days — median days on market decreased 40.3 percent to 37 days – and more bad news for scrambling buyers is that inventory levels fell 3.6 percent to 7,320.

The townhouses/condos sector also bore good tidings for sellers, though not in double-digit percentages. Closed sales rose just 2.1 percent to 865 transactions and the median price went up 5.3 percent to $140,000.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Median days on market for townhomes and condos also dropped 33.3 percent to 36 days.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes collapsed 10.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million. It was the weakest pace in 19 months.

The setback follows solid gains in real estate for much of 2015. Sales of existing homes are on track to rise roughly 5 percent for the entire year. But the introduction of a new disclosure form in October likely prevented many homebuyers from closing on sales in November. Home values are also rising at more than double the pace of wages.

The median home sales price was $220,300 in November, a 6.3 percent annual increase from a year ago. Sales fell in all major geographic regions, including the Northeast, Midwest, South and West.

The new rules introduced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to inform homebuyers about interest rates and fees may have delayed the completion of sales last month. It took 41 days to close a sale in November, compared to 36 days a year ago. The extended timeframe means that some sales may have been pushed back into December.

“The effect should be a one-time hit to the data and we expect the uptrend in sales to get back on track next month,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Still, an improving job market and relatively low mortgage rates have encouraged home-buying for this year. Unemployment at a healthy 5 percent has endowed more people with a sense of financial certainty.

But tight inventories and rising prices have curbed further gains. Sales have cooled after accelerating to a rate of 5.58 million in July. Relatively few properties are on the market as the economic expansion has crossed the six-year mark, with many homeowners still recovering equity lost during the Great Recession and the bursting of the housing bubble.

The number of listings on the market has dropped 1.9 percent from a year ago, a shortage that has restricted options for buyers and fueled escalating prices. As a result, more people have no choice but to rent. The share of homeowners has slipped to 63.7 percent from a high of 69.2 percent in 2004.

Low mortgage rates have minimized some of the financial pressure. Still, rates are higher than a year ago. The Federal Reserve hiked a key short-term rate last week, the first increase of its kind in nearly a decade as the economy appears solid enough to manage higher borrowing costs.

The average, 30-year fixed mortgage rate has risen to 3.97 percent from 3.8 percent a year ago, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.

Quiz: Which celebrity owns this mansion?

Can you guess which celebrity owns this Palm Beach mansion? Take our quiz! (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)
Can you guess which celebrity owns this Palm Beach mansion? Take our quiz! (Bill Ingram / The Palm Beach Post)

It’s no surprise Palm Beach County is a celebrity magnet.

With great beaches and tons of things to do, who could blame them for moving to town — or even just having a wedding here?

Take our quiz: Can you guess which mansion belongs to which celebrity?