The Dirt: Private island sells in Palm Beach for — gulp — $150 million – Palm Beach Post

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Just sold for a recorded $150 million, a mega-mansion at 10 Tarpon Isle on Palm Beach's private Tarpon Island offers southern views straight down the Intracoastal Waterway.

Welcome to The Dirt. I’m Darrell Hofheinz, the real estate writer at the Palm Beach Daily News and a contributor to the Palm Beach Post. Kim Miller, the Post’s monarch of real estate snark, is away this week so I’m filling in, trying my best to try to dish the, well, dirt about Palm Beach County real estate. Be forewarned: I’m not nearly as sharp or hip as the inimitable Kim, but here goes nothin’. 

In Palm Beach, real estate agents love, love, LOVE to describe their properties as “one-of-a-kind,” and that usually leads us to get out the salt shaker to painstakingly sort out a single grain. 

But some properties actually do live up to that description — and Tarpon Island, as Palm Beach’s only private island, is one of them. The property and its mansion just sold for a recorded $150 million, marking the biggest-dollar residential sale in the country so far this year. Tongues around town are wagging, especially about who may have bought it.

Meanwhile, a developer who had hoped to win approval for Park West, a massive mixed-use project proposed west of Delray Beach, found the project parked in limbo — at least temporarily — by the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners.

And out Wellington way, a powerful real estate investor is upset — and that, of course, means a lawsuit, because hey, this is South Florida. Mark Bellissimo is upset his company wasn’t given first dibs to buy back the Wellington International equestrian showground, which it had sold to a Denmark company in 2021. “Nay, nay,” the suit effectively says. Or maybe that should be “Neigh, neigh”? Or should I shut up now? 

And finally, it’s back to Palm Beach, where a property’s owner’s apparently controversial request to build a new dock on a lakefront lot recently generated lots of discussion at Town Hall. An owner with property rights ended up clashing with disgruntled neighbors over where a yacht could be docked — it’s becoming a familiar story in Palm Beach County.

Welcome to paradise, and read on for more details.

Sold for $150 million, Palm Beach’s only private isle sets lakefront sales record

The West Palm Beach skyline rises behind Tarpon Island, center, Palm Beach's only private island. The never-lived-in renovated-and-expanded house at 10 Tarpon Isle on Tarpon Island sold for a recorded $150 million. The property was last priced at $187.5 million.

Even in Palm Beach, where properties can go for millions, the $150 million sale of private Tarpon Island grabbed plenty of national attention. And even at that price, it was only the town’s third highest-dollar residential sale over the years. The sale did a set a price record for a Palm Beach lakefront property without additional ocean frontage.

Developer Todd Michael Glaser and an investment group with deep pockets bought Tarpon Island — an artificial island — and its 1939 house. They then pumped that house up bigger than the biceps of a college student who has skipped class because the weight room and TikTok just won’t wait. Nothing very natty on Tarpon Island. 

The amenity list is long, and it includes one of the town’s only lighted tennis courts, which was on the site before the redo. The town, it seems, frowns on the sound of bouncing balls and the glare of spillover light that might interfere with a neighbor’s peaceful cocktail hour on the loggia.

Not so fast, says county board to Park West developer

West of Delray Beach, the Park West development proposed for a site in the Agricultural Reserve — remember that quaint idea? — would have had 734 apartments, a 150-room hotel, retail space and offices.

But the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners and some members of the surrounding community thought the project as presented was just too big and too intensive for the site at Atlantic Avenue and Florida’s Turnpike. And the county planning commission had already balked at the idea of granting six — count ’em, six — changes to the Ag Reserve’s zoning to accommodate it. 

So they showed the developer the door, at least temporarily. The board unanimously voted to postpone consideration of the project, sending the it back to the drawing board. A revised — and presumably scaled-back —version could be presented in August, according to intrepid Post writer Mike Diamond.

The development was proposed by Paul OKean, who operated Morningstar Nursery at the site for more than 30 years. Growth, he surely must know, can be hard. 

Mark Bellissimo astride Wellington lawsuit over proposed sale of horse showgrounds

Jacob Pope atop Highway FBH owned by The Highway Group during the $32000 CSI 3* Adequan¨ WEF Challenge at the Winter Equestrian Festival at Palm Beach International Equestrian Centers in Wellington on Jan. 11, 2024.

Wellington International has long been home to the annual Winter Equestrian Festival.

But its future could be tied up — that’s a horsey pun, albeit a bad one — thanks to a legal battle brewing between Wellington power broker Mark Bellissimo and a European investment firm.

As Wellington reporter Valentina Palm reports: “Global Equestrian Group, which bought Wellington International from Bellissimo almost three years ago, is trying to sell the showgrounds along Pierson Road. But now, a Bellissimo-owned company is suing to prevent the sale and buy it back.”

Bellissimo claims in the suit that the sales contract with Global Equestrian gave him and his company the “right of first refusal,” should the property ever be put up for sale.

One more rub? If a judge sides with Bellissimo, it could complicate the joint operations with a new horse center being built on 144 acres directly south of Wellington International.

In any case, there are clearly a few legal hurdles to jump. (See what I did there?)

Planned private dock is awash in neighbors’ ire on Palm Beach

Construction work is underway on a new house at 757 Island Drive on the southwest tip of Everglades Island in Palm Beach. The Town Council recently considered whether or not to approve a dock for the property.

There have been at least a couple of stories of late — read them here and here — about Palm Beach County property owners with yacht problems. Or, more specifically, with yachts-at-dock problems. 

The most recent controversy just erupted at a meeting of the Palm Beach Town Council, which got an earful from neighbors irked by a property owner’s plan to build — of all things! — a dock on their property in the Intracoastal Waterway. 

It’s not just any property, of course. It’s one of the most prime lakefront spots in the county, on the southwest tip of Everglades Island. That island is home to an affluent residential neighborhood and lies between the mainland and the barrier island that encompasses almost all of rest of Palm Beach. 

Neighboring residents expressed several objections about the proposed dock, including the request that it stretch more than 6 feet, which would exceed zoning requirements. Palm Beach Daily News writer Kristine Webb details all the nautical drama in her story.

Live lightly, as Kim would say. 

Darrell Hofheinz is a USA TODAY Network of Florida journalist who writes about Palm Beach real estate in his weekly “Beyond the Hedges” column. in the Palm Beach Daily News He welcomes tips about real estate news on the island of Palm Beach. Email [email protected], call 561-820-3831 or tweet @PBDN_Hofheinz.

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