By Christine Davis
One down, two to go. Back in 2014 and 2015, egged on by Palm Beach bud and shock jock Howard Stern, Billy Joel started buying property in Manalapan. In March 2014, he plopped down $11.8 million for a 13,200-square-foot bungalow just north of Boynton Inlet and two months later paid another $6.5 million for the vacant lot next door. Then just after New Year’s 2015, he went all out, paying $22.1 million for a nearly 18,886-square-foot Atlantic-to-Intracoastal palace that was built on a portion of the old Vanderbilt estate. It includes a pool, billiards room, wine cellar and 12-car garage.
Then he put them on the market. For the house and vacant lot just north of the inlet, he initially asked $29 million, then cut the price to $27 million.
Last month, Jack Elkins and Bunny Hiatt, agents with the Fite Group, represented Joel’s interests when they found a buyer for the lot. Frank Mennella, a businessman with operations in Pennsylvania and Boca Raton, and his wife, Dolores, negotiated the price down to $7.5 million. In July 2016, the Mennellas paid $25.2 million for the oceanfront Villa Oceano Azul at 1400 S. Ocean, and they apparently intend to stick around, since Frank already has landed a seat on Manalapan’s Architectural Commission.
But Joel still has two parcels to sell. The house near the inlet, originally listed at $19.5 million, is now at $16.9 million. He’s asking $31.9 million for the big house, but don’t be surprised if he splits the difference and takes $4 million-$5 million less.Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate has that listing.
Should deals for both places go through, Joel and his wife, Alexis Roderick, will still have a place to stay. In January, they inked a $3.5 million deal for a 5-acre ranch in Wellington. She rides dressage, and the ranch is loaded with dressage amenities, including a 12-stall barn with groom quarters, a tack room, five paddocks and a regulation-size dressage ring … with mirrors. The farm is a short canter from the Equestrian Center, and although it isn’t on the ocean, it’s bordered on east and south by water.
William “Tom” Gerrard’s house at 1960 S. Ocean Blvd. in Manalapan was sold at an absolute auction on April 21. While the sale won’t be finalized until this month, it was considered a non-contingency cash deal.
The bidding started at $10 million and the auction was over in 10 to 15 minutes. DeCaro Auctions International conducted it.
Built in 1989 on 4.17 acres, the ocean-to-lake property most recently had been listed for $24.5 million by agents Robert Temelkoski of Bowen Realty and William McManus of the Fite Group.
Gerrard, the former mayor of Manalapan, bought the property in 1994 and later acquired land to the north and south of the home. On and off the market since 2010, it was initially listed at $34.5 million.
“We had approximately 10 bidders, and it was very active bidding,” said Daniel DeCaro, founder and CEO of DeCaro Auctions International. “There seemed to be a large amount of interest in the property. For four weeks of open houses, people from all over the world — Bolivia, Mexico, Russia, China — did their due diligence.”
While the owner and sales price were not disclosed, DeCaro said the new owner is from Hawaii and was represented by Douglas Elliman agent Steven Solomon, who works out of the Boca Raton office.
“I was so nervous, my heart was jumping out of my shirt,” Solomon said, adding that the new owner, an investor, has worked with him previously. “She saw the value. Sometimes she keeps the properties she buys and rents them out. Others she picks up and sells. I believe she’s going to resell this house.”
Just north on A1A an ocean-to-lake estate at 700 S. Ocean Blvd. in Manalapan sold for $18.5 million, according to the deed recorded March 26. The buyer was a trust in the name of Louis J. Capano Jr., who heads LC Homes in Wilmington, Del. The seller was biotechnology investor Steven M. Oliveira and his wife, Bernadette. Agent Pascal J. Liguori, of Premier Estate Properties, listed the property for sale in January 2017 at $26.5 million. The price later dropped to $24.5 million, according to the multiple listing service.
The house was designed by Affiniti Architects and built by Mark Timothy Inc., both based in Boca Raton. The Oliveiras built the house after buying the property from a company associated with Delray Beach developer Frank McKinney for a recorded $5.85 million in December 2010.
Capano was represented in the sale by broker Stephen Cohen of Land Maker Inc., Delray Beach. Capano has also owned his beachfront house at 6373 N. Ocean Blvd., Ocean Ridge since 1999, according to property records.
Move over, Manalapan; Delray Beach is in the big money, too. Bill Powers, who bought the new 13,000-square-foot mansion at 901 S. Ocean Blvd. in 2015 for $19 million, recently sold it to an undisclosed buyer for $26.75 million.
The price is impressive, but it isn’t a record for Delray. Two lots south, a 33,571-square-foot monster, which sold in 2010 for $9.3 million, went for $34 million in February 2016. The buyer: Richard Chaifetz, a Chicago entrepreneur, investor, licensed neuropsychologist and philanthropist, founder of ComPsych, the world’s largest mental health services provider. A big chunk of its work is managing the opioid abuse crisis … with which Delray is more than familiar.
Capo 7 LLC, led by Joseph Basile III of Lantana-based JFB Construction and Development Inc., got a $6.5 million loan to finance construction of The Preserve of Hypoluxo, a 44-unit rental townhouse project. An affiliate of JFB will manage the property. The project, at 200 Hypoluxo Road, will border a 97-acre nature preserve. The Preserve is expected to open in the winter of 2018-19, and leases will range from $1,800 to $2,200. The project will have a two-story, 17,000-square-foot building with five apartments and nine ground-floor retail bays. Boca Raton-based Rare CRE, led by Nelson Garcia and Jamie Zambrana, arranged the $6.5 million construction loan on behalf of Capo 7.
The Boca Raton Mausoleum, 451 SW Fourth Ave., broke ground in April on a $2 million addition of four mausoleum buildings: Grace, Heritage, Dignity and Repose.
Silent Yachts, a Miami-based company that makes vessels powered by solar energy, won the 2018 Global Warming Foundation Award. The award was presented by Peter Ticktin, the foundation’s founder, at the Boca Raton Resort and Club. The company’s new model, Solarwave62, was on display there after debuting at the Palm Beach International Boat Show.
The Solarwave62’s propulsion system was created by Silent Yachts CEO Michael Kohler and his wife, Heike Kohler. “The U.S. launch of Silent Yachts is something we’ve been working towards since the inception of our Solarwave46 prototype in 2009,” Michael Kohler said.
Congratulations to Laura Simon, Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority’s executive director. She was selected to serve on the International Downtown Association Nighttime Economy Council. Simon will work with five members representing Orlando, Jacksonville, New York’s Lower East Side, Denver and Winnipeg to create best practices for developing a nighttime economy for established, growing and emerging downtown urban districts.
Shopping in downtown Delray Beach could mean a free orchid for Mom. How? In honor of Mother’s Day, the Delray Beach Downtown Development Authority presents the Downtown Delray Orchid Giveaway. Until May 12, buyers can each receive one phalaenopsis orchid plant with every $200 spent shopping at downtown Delray Beach stores, galleries, spas, salons and fitness studios.
To participate, buyers need to turn in their receipts dated May 1 through 12, and pick up their complimentary orchids May 9-12. Pickup locations, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 9 through May 11, are in front of Hand’s stationers, 325 E. Atlantic Ave., and Petite Connection, 1049 E. Atlantic Ave. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 12, the pickup locations are in front of Hand’s, Petite Connection, and in the Pineapple Grove Arts District under the banyan tree on the corner of Northeast Second Avenue and Northwest Second Street. For details, call 243-1077 or visit www.downtowndelraybeach.com/events/annual-mothers-day-orchid-giveaway.
Two local workshops and events follow up the 14th annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival this month. At 12:30 p.m. May 5 a poetry workshop with Stacie Kiner will be held at Old School Square Crest Theatre, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Cost is $10. The Alzheimer’s Poetry Project’s Summer Poetry Reading & Sing Along, a free event, is at 10:30 a.m. May 9 at the Brighton Gardens building at Sunrise Assisted Living, 6341 Via De Sonrisa Del Sur, Boca Raton. For information, visit www.palmbeachpoetryfestival.org.
The League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County hosts two events this month at the Atlantis Country Club, 190 Atlantis Blvd., Lake Worth.
“Why Courts Matter Brunch, How Politicians Are Systematically Trying to Weaken the Courts and What We Can Do About It,” will be from 1 to 3 p.m. May 6. The speaker will be Ellen Freidin, a Miami lawyer who is the past chair of 11th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee. Tickets are $40.
A Hot Topic Luncheon, “Politics & Stuff: Lunch With Frank Cerabino,” Palm Beach Post columnist, will be 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. May 16. Tickets are $35. For both events, RSVP at 968-4123 or www.lwvpbc.org.
Thom Smith contributed to this column.
Send business news to Christine Davis at email@example.com.