See how much FAU football coach Lane Kiffin spent on Boca crib

Florida Atlantic University hopes new football coach Lane Kiffin can move the long-struggling Owls into the win column. Kiffin already has scored in the real estate market: He just paid $2.1 million for a Boca Raton house that Zillow says is worth $2.275 million.

FAU head coach Lane Kiffin (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

The 6,190-square-foot home on Northeast Eighth Drive in Boca last sold for $1.1 million, in 2004, according to property records.

Kiffin is the former head coach at Tennessee and USC whose most recent stop was as an assistant at Alabama.

FAU wooed Kiffin in hopes of righting a program that hasn’t posted a winning record since 2008. Despite a palatial $70 million stadium on campus, the Owls typically play to mostly empty seats.

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.



Rent spike: See how much more tenants are paying for Palm Beach County apartments

rental art for mysite

Palm Beach County rents spiked 7.7 percent from February 2015 to February 2016, according to new stats from Reinhold P. Wolff Economic Research.

Average monthly rent was $1,530 in February, up from $1,421 a year ago. The increases were especially steep for one-bedroom units — they jumped 9.8 percent over the past year.

As Palm Beach County’s job creation outpaces homebuilding, rising rents have emerged as a common theme.

Source: Reinhold P. Wolff Economic Research
Source: Reinhold P. Wolff Economic Research

Four Palm Beach County real estate brokers make nation’s Top 500


Four Palm Beach County real estate brokerages ranked among the top 500 nationally in sales volumes, according to the just-released Real TRENDS ranking for 2015:

130. Illustrated Properties (Palm Beach Gardens): $1.43 billion

165. Keller Williams Realty Jupiter/Palm Beaches/Treasure Coast (Jupiter): $1.18 billion

376. Boca Executive Realty (Boca Raton): $580 million

475. RE/MAX Advantage Plus (Boca Raton): $475 million

One caveat: Firms must fill out a survey to appear on the list, and there’s at least one obvious omission: Lang Realty of Boca Raton, which topped the $1 billion mark but isn’t on Real TRENDS’ ranking.

Restoration Hardware ‘mansion’ now being built on Okeechobee in downtown West Palm

Progress is being made on the new Restoration Hardware in downtown West Palm Beach.

A man walks past the Restoration Hardware in CityPlace on March 12, 2015, in West Palm Beach. The store could move to a prime spot once planned to become a signature office building. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
A man walks past the Restoration Hardware in CityPlace on March 12, 2015, in West Palm Beach. The store could move to a prime spot once planned to become a signature office building. (Palm Beach Post staff file photo)

The store, in a key location between the east- and westbound lanes of Okeechobee Boulevard near the entrance to the city’s downtown area, is being built as a designer showcase.

» RELATED: CityPlace plans 400 apartments, new shops, eateries

The land under the building is owned by Related Cos., the CityPlace developer.

Artist's rendering of proposed Restoration Hardware Gallery. (Provided)
Artist’s rendering of proposed Restoration Hardware Gallery. (Provided)

Related top executive Ken Himmel has told The Palm Beach Post that the 50,000-square-foot Restoration Hardware gallery will be “a Mizner-inspired mansion.”

The four-story showroom will feature outdoor courtyards, a fountain and a rooftop park.

The new Restoration Hardware "mansion" in West Palm Beach is under construction on March 21, 2016. (Kristina Webb / The Palm Beach Post)
The new Restoration Hardware “mansion” in West Palm Beach is under construction on March 21, 2016. (Kristina Webb / The Palm Beach Post)

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?


Top 5 things happening in West Palm Beach real estate right now

The West Palm Beach real estate market is hot right now, and there are some big things happening in the city.

We’ve pulled together the top five things you need to know about.

1. We have an opening date for the new convention center hotel.

(Brianna Soukup / The Palm Beach Post)
(Brianna Soukup / The Palm Beach Post)

It took decades to get a Palm Beach County Convention Center hotel off the ground. But now that construction of the Hilton hotel in West Palm Beach is underway, the process is going faster than anyone expected. In fact, the hotel now is set to open mid-January — weeks ahead of schedule, hotel developer Ken Himmel told The Palm Beach Post.

Read more here.

2. One developer has a plan for two massive towers downtown.


Billionaire Jeff Greene plans to build twin, 30-story towers on land he owns in downtown West Palm Beach. The property, at 550 Quadrille Blvd., is slated to be an office/hotel/condo complex that would total 829,000 square feet. Architectural plans for the project were submitted to the city on Wednesday.

Read more here.

3. That Darth Vader building? It’s on the market.


The Northbridge Centre, aka the Darth Vader building, is on the market for sale. Real estate sources expect the Force to be with the brokers who are peddling this property, which for years has been associated with the Dark Lord of the Sith, owing to its imposing black glass.

Read more here.

4. What’s happening with the 1515 Flagler property?

(Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
(Palm Beach Post staff file photo)

With the real estate market so hot, you’d think there would be some development happening on the prime piece of land at 1515 Flagler, which housed the now-just-a-memory 1515 Tower condo. But real estate brokers and developers say the parcel and another prominent piece of land, Opera Place, are having trouble overcoming several factors: Price, timing and a concern the market may have become overheated, both in land and construction costs.

Read more here.

5. CityPlace is set to get two new restaurants

(Palm Beach Post staff file photo)
(Palm Beach Post staff file photo)

Two new restaurants are coming to CityPlace in the new year. The deals give new life to the 15-year-old center, which is now undergoing a revival as a shopping, dining and entertainment destination in West Palm Beach. The Regional Kitchen and Public House, a creation of local restaurateur Thierry Beaud, will take the former Pampas Grille space along Okeechobee Boulevard. And City Tap House, a craft beer bar and restaurant, will take over the long-shuttered, 11,500-square Brewzzi restaurant and outdoor bar on the second floor of CityPlace, overlooking the fountain.

Read more here.

Flurry of warehouse development near turnpike includes FedEx facility

Developers plan more than 1 million square feet of warehouses for the industrial area between Southern Boulevard and Belvedere Road along Florida’s Turnpike, a building boom that reflects a return to normal for Palm Beach County’s commercial real estate market.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Duke Realty (NYSE: DRE) of Indianapolis plans 822,850 square feet at Belvedere and Jog roads along the turnpike. Palm Beach County developer McCraney Property Co. aims to build 388,000 square feet at its Turnpike Business Center.

FedEx (NYSE: FDX) expects to move into a 225,000-square-foot distribution center on Pike Road next year. And a couple miles east of the turnpike on Southern Boulevard, Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LPT) is marketing 218,160 square feet.

“It feels like 2004 all over again,” said Robert Smith, a broker at CBRE who markets Duke Realty’s Turnpike Crossing.

This boom looks unlikely to lead to bust, developers and brokers say, simply because so few warehouses have been built in recent years.

“For far too long, there was little to no activity,” said Steven McCraney, head of McCraney Property Co.

The result? Microscopic vacancy rates for warehouse space in Palm Beach County.

“We’re basically out of space,” said broker Michael Falk.

Falk says the vacancy rate for industrial space is 3 percent. Smith pegs it at 4 percent. Either way, there’s little space to accommodate distribution companies such as FedEx, or the construction-related companies that typically occupy Palm Beach County’s industrial buildings.

The flurry of new development “is much-needed,” Smith said. “I literally have lists of tenants who are looking for space and can’t find it.”

Even so, Duke Realty will take care not to build too quickly. The landlord has begun construction of two buildings at Turnpike Crossing but won’t build more until those warehouses are rented, Smith said.

Industrial tenants typically don’t sign leases until buildings have been built, but McCraney already has landed one tenant for Turnpike Business Center. Adrenalin Rush, an indoor go-kart track planned by a French entrepreneur, took 69,896 square feet.

As for FedEx, which has seen shipping volumes soar amid an explosion in online shopping, it aims to hire 190 workers at the new distribution center. FedEx said business is so brisk that it will keep its two other hubs in Palm Beach County.

The construction projects are in an unincorporated area west of West Palm Beach.