By Christine Davis, Jan Norris, Mary Thurwachter and Mary Hladky
Owners of Delray Beach’s Seagate Hotel & Spa will renovate three of their local properties by late 2022, with an eye on attracting a younger traveler, according to hotel management.
“Our goal is to capture the energy of the classic Florida resort, transporting guests to another time and place,” said General Manager Koji Akaboshi. The hotel is currently managed by Long Weekend Hospitality Group, formed in 2020. It was opened in its present version in 2009 on East Atlantic Avenue by the HHC Atlantic LLC.
The renovation is set to be complete by fall 2022, with renovations taking place over the next two years.
Work on the Seagate Beach Club, a three-minute trolley ride south of the hotel on A1A, will be done at the same time. Although it’s a members-only club, hotel guests can use the beach, pool, cabanas and a small restaurant there.
All the features of the resort will be upgraded from the current British Colonial design to a modern classic Florida beachside resort for a deluxe experience. Robert McKinley’s studio in New York was chosen as the designer for the resort project. McKinley’s vision of Delray as an “authentic, laid-back beach town” is driving the design.
Delray Beach is experiencing a revitalization as a destination and the hotel hopes to be an inviting space for locals and travelers alike to connect and enjoy themselves, according to Akaboshi. "Our goal of the renovation project is for the hotel to offer its signature standard of luxury while incorporating a laidback beachside vibe, offering guests a comfortable place to feel at home," he said.
All 154 rooms will be remodeled, opening up the standard hotel room to be suite-like with more space to move around and an upscale design. Public spaces will be redesigned, taking away the marine theme. The landscaping also will change.
The hotel exterior will have no architectural changes. Balconies will remain on 141 of the rooms.
In the meantime, the Seagate continues to make staff and guest health a priority. A new 150-point procedure in partnership with EcoLab is in place to provide safety for both. The Seagate Country Club in west Delray Beach will get a free-standing wellness center as well as a golf performance center and new indoor-outdoor restaurant, along with a resort-style pool. Golf course upgrades have begun.
A price tag for the project wasn’t disclosed.
NOTE: The above item was updated April 30 due to previous incorrect information provided by Dada Goldberg, the hotel's public relations team in New York.
Hand’s, a family-owned business in downtown Delray Beach for more than eight decades, will close for good by Father’s Day, June 20. The store, which began as a bookshop, sells office and art supplies, cards and gifts, souvenirs and stationery.
David Cook, whose family has owned the iconic Atlantic Avenue store since 1964, made the announcement on April 19. He said he would need to vacate the property by June 30.
Steve Cohen, the new owner, will give the building a complete remodel with new plumbing and wiring and a new roof. No word yet on what businesses will occupy the property, which currently houses Hand’s Hallmark and office and art supply stores — and space formerly home to Vince Canning Shoes, which shuttered last summer after 68 years.
Cohen, a property manager, owns other buildings in the area, including the one that houses El Camino Mezcal & Tequila near the corner of Northeast Second and Atlantic avenues.
As with many other small businesses, Hand’s saw its revenue dip during the last year, by about 30%. But the store isn’t necessarily closing as a result of the pandemic, said Cook, 58.
“It’s more just the right time in everybody’s life that’s involved,” he explained. Plus, he received a good offer for the real estate. According to the Clerk of Circuit Court office, the property sold for $11.5 million on April 19.
N. Ocean Capital 707B, a Delaware corporation, sold a six-bedroom oceanfront home at 707 N. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach, to Jak Ftl LLC for $15.995 million. The sale was recorded on April 7.
The selling entity is managed by NRIA N. Ocean 707 Manager LLC, which is run by Rey Grabato, president and CEO of National Realty Investment Advisors.
Jak Ftl LLC is managed by Jdk Partners Management, a Florida corporation managed by James Klotz, co-founder and president of FMSbonds.
This sale followed one in February in which actor Kevin James paid $14 million to a company linked to National Realty Investment Advisors for a six-bedroom oceanfront estate and guest house in the 300 block of North Ocean in Delray.
The 707 N. Ocean property was purchased in 2017 for $6.5 million, and NRIA with U.S. Construction built a new five-bedroom, 7,490-square-foot home, designed by Randall Stofft. The home was listed by Deborah and Steve Haines with IMI Resort Properties.
Richard Wackenhut, an heir to the security firm founder George Wackenhut, purchased the home at 191 West Key Palm Road, Boca Raton, for $12.825 million from Lisa J. Leder as trustee of the Lisa J. Leder Revocable Trust. The sale was recorded on March 23. Leder, under the Centre V Revocable Trust, purchased the home for $9.2 million in 2011.
Built in 2010, the 10,367-square-foot house, on a half-acre lot, features 150 feet of waterfront and deep-water dockage, according to the listing. The home hit the market in October, with a $13.495 million asking price.
Senada Adzem Schweitzer with Douglas Elliman represented Leder, while Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates represented Wackenhut, according to Realtor.com.
Down the road in Broward County, 1007 Hillsboro Land Trust purchased the home at 1007 Hillsboro Mile in Hillsboro Beach from Thomas S. and Michelle Murphy, for $22.985 million. The sale was recorded on March 23. Evan Grayer, a trustee for the 1007 Hillsboro Land Trust, is the co-founder of New York-based Simple Networks. He was formerly the senior vice president of broadband for DirecTV Latin America, according to his LinkedIn profile.
The Murphys bought the house in 2013 for $9 million. Joseph G. Liguori, Gerard P. Liguori and Carmen N. D’Angelo Jr. with Premier Estate Properties represented the sellers, and Karen Bellows of Florida Luxurious Properties represented the buyer.
Built in 1996, the 16,049-square-foot, six-bedroom house is on a 1.06-acre lot with 161 feet of beach and Intracoastal frontage.
Douglas Elliman real estate in its quarterly reports noted “record highs for pricing and sales but with chronically low listing inventory” for Delray Beach and Boca Raton. Jonathan J. Miller, CRE, CRP, prepared the reports.
In Boca Raton, for luxury single-family listings, the average sales price was $5,178,756, a 48.8% increase over last year, and inventory fell year over year for the eighth straight decline to a new low of 118.
In Delray Beach, luxury single-family prices set a record for the average sales price, which was $3,928,825, a 35% increase over last year, and the listing inventory fell to 67 from 87, a new low.
In Manalapan, “price trend indicators were skewed higher by the surge in sales size as listing inventory could not keep up with sales levels.” A metric from that report: Manalapan average sales price was listed at $25.7 million, a 516% increase over last year, with an active inventory of four.
Day Pitney LLP, with a trusts and estates practice, announced that it will expand its East Coast presence through a merger with Rhode Island-based law firm Howland Evangelista Kohlenberg LLP.
This merger follows two others: Day Pitney first expanded to Florida in 2016 via a merger with trusts and estates boutique Chapin, Ballerano & Cheslack, with offices in Boca Raton and Delray Beach. Day Pitney then expanded its Florida presence via a 2019 merger with Richman Greer, with offices in West Palm Beach and Coral Gables.
The firm now has 20-plus attorneys and four offices in the state.
Howland Evangelista Kohlenberg was founded in 2014 by former Edwards Wildman Palmer (now Locke Lord) attorneys. In addition to Renée A.R. Evangelista and A. Max Kohlenberg, the following attorneys will join Day Pitney: Emma D. Becker, Claire N. Carrabba, Joshua R. Caswell, Leigh E. Furtado, Dana T. Pickard, Joshua Simon and Pamela Veasy.
The family of James Batmasian, Boca Raton’s largest downtown commercial landowner, has made available $100,000 for grants that will go to 15 small businesses and entrepreneurs in Palm Beach and Broward counties.
The grants are aimed at businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. The first-place grant will be $20,000, second- and third-place grants will be $10,000, and the remainder will be $5,000 each.
A panel of local business leaders and Boca Raton and Delray Beach city officials will review the applicants to select finalists.
Winners, who also will receive coaching from the Batmasians and other executives, will be announced by May 15. The deadline to apply was April 15.
Boca Raton-based Florida Peninsula Insurance announced that Michael Williams was hired as vice president of claims and litigation. Prior to joining Florida Peninsula, he was a claims executive at Aon Reinsurance Solutions. He also has served as the chief claims officer of AmWINS Specialty Auto, as well as held claims and consulting roles with Nationwide Insurance and IBM Global Business Services.
Rick Maharajh, president and CEO of RM Logitech, a technology and IT distribution firm, won the Boynton Beach Professionals’ recognition award. “This award was created to honor the member who has done the most for the group and the Boynton Beach community,” said John Campanola, chairman of the group. “Rick has been tirelessly working to promote the group and all of its members. He is an ardent networker throughout Palm Beach County and especially Boynton Beach.”
Through a competitive bidding process, the Palm Beach Solar Co-op selected Goldin Solar to install its solar panels. The group, which has more than 60 people, is free to join and open through the end of May to new members who are homeowners and business owners in the county. As a group, co-op members will learn about solar energy and leverage bulk purchasing to ensure competitive pricing and quality solar installations. To join the co-op, visit https://coops.solarunitedneighbors.org/coops/palm-beach-county-solar-co-op/
Jan Norris, Mary Thurwachter and Mary Hladky contributed to this column.
Send business news to Christine Davis at email@example.com.