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Villa Tranquilla mansion in Palm Beach, once linked to Vera Wang, sells for $36M

Sale price equates to $3,080 psf
A restored Spanish and Mediterranean-style mansion in Palm Beach, known as Villa Tranquilla, just sold for $36.15 million, property records show.

West Palm Beach-based entity 640 Palm Beach LLC bought the 11,735-square-foot mansion for $3,080 per square foot. Attorney Larry B. Alexander, chairman of Jones, Foster Johnston & Stubbs P.A., represented the buyer.

Property records show the one-acre estate at 640 South Ocean Boulevard was sold by Ocean Place Properties LLC, a limited liability company led by energy businessman Larry J. Gelber.

Records show the waterfront mansion was originally built in 1928 by architect Addison Mizner. Architect Jeffery Smith of Smith Architectural Group was behind the renovations and restoration of the estate, which took more than three years to complete and were finished in 2014, according to the listing. In 1996, the mansion was designated a landmark, meaning any changes to the mansion’s original exterior look must get approval from the Landmarks Commission.

The eight-bedroom, nine-bathroom and three-half bathroom house features include a deck, patio, library, theater and pool. Its interior has granite countertops and hardwood and tile flooring.

Records show in 1996 the mansion at the corner of El Brillo Way was owned by the late oil and pharmaceutical tycoon Cheng Ching Wang, father of fashion designer Vera Wang. Vera Wang and her brother Kenneth Wang sold the home in 2008.

Residential sales in Palm Beach County in May increased by 5.8 percent to 3,188 from 3,012 the previous year, according to the Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches.

Just this month, Billionaire George Lindemann and his wife Frayda sold their oceanfront house at 1565 North Ocean Way for $25.2 million.

Other nearby notable sales include the newly completed 1.5-acre property at 101 Indian Road that sold for $49 million -marking the most expensive home to trade in more than a year in Palm Beach County.
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2660 S OCEAN BLVD, 702 S 
~ OPEN HOUSE June 22, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm ~ 
2 Bed Rooms | 2 Bathrooms
Just listed by for sale by Helene Sidel, Penthouse #702S at Beach Point. The unit boasts of magnificent ocean views from all rooms. Imagine eating or watching your large screen TV while being right above the blue oceans of the semi tropical South Florida Coast. Everything has been completely redone in the best taste: new bathrooms and kitchen. It also has a cabana that is being sold with the unit. These units rarely come on the market for sale. Don’t miss this opportunity, priced right for quick sale. See more here.
Helene Sidel

Office: 561.373.3375
220 Sunrise Ave
Suite 103
Palm Beach, Florida 33480

Fed says

Fed says it will shrink its balance sheet, which is good and bad news for real estate
Quantitative easing has kept interest rates low
The Federal Reserve on Tuesday announced it would raise short-term interest rates again, but the real news was its decision to start selling off assets.
The Fed bought up $4.5 trillion in bonds and other securities in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis in a bid to stabilize financial markets and push down long-term interest rates. But as the economy improves, there is less of a need for the program, dubbed quantitative easing.
“The economy is doing very well, is showing resilience,” Fed chair Janet Yellen said at a press conference. The central bank will shrink its portfolio by a paltry $10 billion for now, but plans to increase that amount each quarter.
“We should want the Fed to raise rates because it signals something good about the underlying economy,” Citigroup strategist Tobias Levkovich told the Wall Street Journal. “When it gets overheated and the Fed has to cut if off, that’s when you get worried.”
The federal funds rate, a benchmark interest rate for overnight loans between banks, is set to rise by 0.25 percentage points to a range of 1.0 to 1.25 percent.
The Fed’s confidence in the U.S. economy should be good news for the real estate industry, but a slow end to quantitative easing also carries risks. By inflating demand for bonds, the program pushed down long-term interest rates, allowing real estate investors to borrow cheaply and pushing up property valuations. A rise in interest rates could reverse that dynamic.
Yellen said the Fed plans to move slowly to avoid market disruption. “The plan is one that is consciously intended to avoid creating market strains and to allow the market to adjust to a very gradual and predictable plan,” she said Wednesday.
Fed officials had earlier indicated that it may be time to start selling off its $1.75 trillion in mortgage bond holdings.  [WSJ] – Konrad Putzier
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Perfect Oceanfront Penthouse Just Listed

2660 S OCEAN BLVD, 702S 
Just listed by for sale by Helene Sidel, Penthouse #702S at Beach Point. The unit boasts of magnificent ocean views from all rooms. Everything has been completely redone in the best taste: new bathrooms and kitchen. It also has a cabana that is being sold with the unit. These units rarely come on the market for sale. Don’t miss this opportunity, priced right for quick sale. See more here
Helene Sidel

Office: 561.373.3375
220 Sunrise Ave
Suite 103
Palm Beach, Florida 33480

Billionaire’s former estate in Palm Beach could end up as 6 lots

 Billionaire’s former estate in Palm Beach could end up as 6 lots.
A Palm Beach developer’s plan to subdivide the former John W. Kluge compound in the Estate Section into six vacant lots will be reviewed for the first time by the Town Council this week.
And the property at 89 Middle Road has already stirred up a bit of controversy among some of its neighbors.
Sir Peter Wood is seeking approval Wednesday to carve a new subdivision out of the vacant 3.4-acre property his development company owns on the west side of El Bravo Way and east of South County Road. Wood plans to either develop and sell houses on the lots or divest them.
“Some lots I might build on, some I might build on with other people, and some we’ll sell,” he said an article in the Spring 2017 issue of Palm Beach Lifemagazine, a publication of the Daily News.
Five of the non-waterfront lots would measure a little more than a half-acre each, with one a bit larger. All would meet code requirements.
Wood, a seasonal resident who is building himself an oceanfront house nearby, is requesting approval “to replat 11 existing platted lots” on the former Kluge estate, according to the official description of the project. The original lots date to 1921 and don’t comply with today’s codes.
Before Wood’s company bought it in April last year, the land housed a 12,712-square-foot main residence and two outbuildings, all of which have since been demolished.
The proposed subdivision’s prime location – within walking distance of Worth Avenue and out of the flight path of airplanes – and the size of the lots mean they might bring between $7 million and $9 million each, several Palm Beach real estate observers estimated. The property also is north of the area closed to through-traffic during President Donald Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago.
Concerns raised
The property already has generated concerns among neighbors. They are represented by attorney Timothy Hanlon, who said he plans to speak at Wednesday’s council meeting but declined to provide specifics.
Hanlon has already told town officials how irked neighbors were that landscape buffers and trees weren’t properly installed or protected after several buildings on the property were demolished several months ago. The land also went unsodded for months, generating dust.
The Architectural Commission sympathized with the neighbors at its May 24 meeting and sharply rebuked the developer, whose representatives assured officials that the problems would shortly be rectified.
Among those who keenly felt the impact of the poorly maintained landscaping was one of Hanlon’s clients, Robert S. Keefer Jr., who for years has lived with his wife, Uta Ortiz Patino, next door at 598 S. County Road.
Worried that the subdivision’s plan for six new houses will overwhelm the character of his neighborhood, Keefer authorized a friend, Billy Brady, to speak to the Daily News on his behalf.
“This is the Estate Section. There is the opportunity for the town to protect the historic footprint of the area,” said Brady, a West Palm Beach resident who grew up in Palm Beach. “Here is an opportunity to preserve a section of Palm Beach that historically has not seen that sort of density.”
But Wood’s attorney, Gregory Young, defended the subdivision plan.
“Sir Peter Wood and everyone on the development team wish to make this project a ‘home run’ for all involved – our neighbors, the town and those who will ultimately reside at the redeveloped site, as well as Sir Peter,” Young said. “We believe strongly that the present subdivision application is the best way for that to happen.”
Landmarked house
Wood paid a recorded $39 million for the property, including an adjacent 1921 landmarked house facing the ocean. He has since listed that Addison Mizner-designed house, known as Audita, at 91 Middle Road for sale at $21.9 million. It is not part of his proposed subdivision.
In the 1990s, Kluge, who died in 2010, assembled as many as five properties to create his estate. The late communications billionaire knocked down two houses in the process, but retained Audita as a guesthouse while expanding the main house. The majority of his land, however, was devoted to gardens.
Two months after Wood bought the property, the Landmarks Commission granted approval to demolish the main house and outbuildings. As part of their approval, commissioners directed that landscaping buffers must be maintained to protect neighboring properties.
A native of England, Wood made his fortune in the British insurance industry. He is developing on speculation an oceanfront mansion at 530 S. Ocean Blvd., next door to the house he is building for himself at 101 Via Marina.

Beautiful Home Along the Intracoastal

4401 S FLAGLER DRIVE /  $2,500,000
Great family home along the intracoastal in the desirable South of Southern area.  Remarkable waterfront views from the living room, master bedroom, and guest bedroom.  Premiere location with potential for a dock. See more photos here
  •     5 Bedrooms / 3 Bathrooms
  •     3,033 SQ. FT. Living Area
  •     3,838 Total Square Feet
  •     2 Car Garage
  •     Game Room
  •     Intracoastal Views
Vicky Reynolds

Office: 561.373.3375
220 Sunrise Ave
Suite 103
Palm Beach, Florida 33480

EDEN ROAD HOME, Great for family, fun and entertaining

246 Eden Road
6 Bedrooms | 5 Bathrooms | 2 Powder Rooms

Traditional Bermuda style 6 bedroom, 5 bathroom and 2 powder room home that includes a 1 bedroom garage apartment. This 6,500 square foot home includes a formal dining room, paneled living room, paneled library, two wine cellars, covered loggia, exercise room, marble baths, hardwood floors, a new pool/jacuzzi, and a large outdoor terrace. It has been completely updated with impact glass, new roof, and full house generator. It also includes deeded private beach access. See more photos here
MLS Listing


Office: 561.659.5113
220 Sunrise Ave
Suite 103
Palm Beach, Florida 33480

OCEAN BREEZE, Just Like Living in the Tropics


1500 S Ocean Boulevard

~ Manalapan ~ 
6 Bed Rooms | 9 Bathrooms | 3 Powder Rooms
Settled perfectly between the intracoastal waterway and the Atlantic, this island style home has been called “OCEAN BREEZE”. Classical meets tropical with this sprawling estate that was built in 2008 with the finest custom details available, it is the perfect family gathering spot for fun in the sun. The home is situated on 1.6 acres in Manalapan, has 178 feet of ocean frontage, 139 feet of lake-front and a dock with a lift. The living room, Florida room, library, kitchen, breakfast room, covered porch, summer kitchen, pool, jacuzzi and all 7 bedrooms have expansive views of the water. An attractive setback security gate frames the property and offers the up most privacy and security. The motor court leads to the tropical coconut lined entrance and to the 4-car garage that is lined with bougainvillea. This house is a must see. Especially all the custom finishes throughout that make this house feel like you’re living in the tropics.


Office: 561.659.5113
220 Sunrise Ave
Suite 103
Palm Beach, Florida 33480

Colonial Revival manse in Palm Beach sells for $20M

The house was built in 1935 by noted architect John L Volk


A Colonial Revival mansion in Palm Beach, at 1102 North Ocean Boulevard, sold to a trust for $20 million.

The price for the 1.4 acre property, which includes a private beach house on North County Road, equals about $328 per square foot. The buyer was listed as 1102 North Ocean Revocable Trust, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. Boca Raton Attorney Stuart Kapp serves as a trustee under Kapp Morrison LLP. The buyer of the home, also known as La Tonteria, is unknown.

The house sold for almost $6 million less than when it had the price of $25.9 million last summer, the Palm Beach Daily News reported.

The mansion was listed for $32 million, and reduced to $26.5 million from 2013 to summer 2016. The home, which features six bedrooms and 17,300 square feet of living space, sold for $7 million in 2004.

The house was built in 1935 by noted architect John L Volk. Sellers James W. Harpel and Judy Howard Harpel spent three and a half years expanding the property with the help of architect Jeffrey Smith, the Palm Beach Daily News reported.

The home won the Robert I. Ballinger award for historically sensitive renovations from the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach in 2010. —[Palm Beach Daily News] Grace Guarnieri

tony signiture

Brightline’s West Palm Beach station nearly completed.

Highway transportation in South Florida is reaching limits due to constantly heavy traffic.


Brightline, the express train that will connect Miami with Orlando, will revolutionize transportation in South Florida and have a positive impact on real estate prices along the route, according to business and civic leaders attending a “sneak peek” of progress at its West Palm Beach station on Tuesday.

“We have to plan for future growth in Florida and Brightline is a critical project,” said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. 

“The impact on real estate values along the Brightline route will be nothing but up,” he said.

Florida not only must plan a transportation system that will meet the state’s future growth needs, Wilson added, but projects like this efficiently link housing and workplaces “and help create the quality of life and the communities that millennials want. Quality of life is a magnet for jobs and millennials.”

Noting that highway transportation in South Florida is reaching limits due to constantly heavy traffic, Brightline CEO Dave Howard said that Miami last year attracted 40 million visitors and Orlando 60 million. “Hundreds of millions travel between the two cities and to connecting cities like West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale,” Howard said. Brightline will play an important role in moving part of that traffic comfortably and efficiently, he said.

Palm Beach County Mayor Paulette Burdick said Brightline will be a key factor in “taking traffic off I-95 and will make commuting a more pleasant experience.” 

At the event, Brightline representatives said that construction of the station, at 501 Evernia Street, began in 2015 and is now nearly completed. It consists of 60,000 square feet of station space, a parking garage and train platform built on 2 acres of land. 

The two-level station will have lounges for standard and premium passengers, as well a conference center. Brightline has not yet revealed its ticket prices.

Near the entrance, the company is erecting a 24-story residential tower that will have 290 units.

The station will connect the neighborhood’s existing trolley, pedestrian and road networks and will have links to the Tri-Rail and Amtrak West Palm Beach station, creating a new transportation hub for the West Palm Beach Area, Brightline said.

The privately funded train, scheduled to start service between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in “late summer” of this year, will offer express service, traveling at an average of 80 miles per hour between Miami and Orlando. After the first trains begin running between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, service will begin to Miami. The Orlando route and station have been delayed due to litigation.

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill worked in association with Zyscovich Architects to design the Brightline stations.

Brightline is owned by Coral Gables-based Florida East Coast Industries, which in turn is owned by private equity funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group, LLC. Aside from All Aboard Florida/Brightline, FECI owns Flagler, a major real estate owner and developer in Florida.

 tony signiture

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