11195069489?profile=RESIZE_710xOcean to Intracoastal properties like this one at 1020 S. Ocean Blvd. — which sold for $89.9 million in December 2021 — have boosted the average value of homes in Manalapan to almost $40 million, according to data from November 2022. Photo provided

By Christine Davis

Based on estimated home price averages, there’s no more expensive neighborhood in the United States than Manalapan, according to a CashNetUSA study. It used real estate data from Zillow to come up with averages for neighborhoods across the country.

In Manalapan, that average came out to $39.8 million, which was about $12.2 million higher than runner-up Palm Island, sitting next to the Port of Miami, with a $27.6 million average value.

In fact, four of the Top 10 priciest neighborhoods were in Florida, though none was named Palm Beach. Port Royal in Naples came in fifth at $22 million and Golden Beach in Miami-Dade County finished sixth, with an average home value of $18.7 million.

Manalapan Mayor Stewart Satter said he was “delighted but not surprised” by his town’s distinction.

“Manalapan is a very special and small inclusive community of magnificent properties, abundant natural beauty and an enviable location that attracts highly successful individuals, driving our real estate prices higher,” Satter said.

Toney neighborhoods in other states couldn’t come close to Manalapan. Beverly Hills Gateway, California’s priciest, averaged $22.8 million per house, while Southampton Village led New York with a $16.7 million average value. Old Greenwich was tops in Connecticut with only a $4.1 million average home value.

The results, announced in April, were from data collected in November. CashNetUSA is an online lender.

***

Actor and comedian Kevin Knipfing — better known as Kevin James — sold a Delray Beach oceanfront mansion at 344 N. Ocean Blvd. through his family trust for $12.675 million.

When he purchased the property in January 2021 for $14 million, it had been renovated and reimagined by Randall Stofft Architects with Stofft Ikasu interior design.

As of the May sale, the property was not listed in public records as homesteaded.

Amenities included a walk-in pool, a loggia with a summer kitchen and fireplace, entertainment lounge, wine cellar, covered terraces, a primary suite comprising the third floor and a five-car garage.

The new owner is 344 North Ocean LLC, managed by Kishore Mirchandani, a board member and CFO of Rainshine Global, a global entertainment company.

Premier Estate Properties’ Pascal Liguori Estate Group represented both buyer and seller.

***

The new 143-room Delray Beach Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, at 200 NE Fifth Ave., opened with amenities that include a swimming pool, meeting rooms, breakfast hall and underground parking with 110 spaces. And, while it’s nice to have a development project completed, the Hampton’s April opening also reflected a bittersweet ending for developer Harold “Sonny” Van Arnem, of Van Arnem Properties

“This is a dream come true for my family and our Van Arnem Properties, Inc. team who worked on this with my boys, Adam and Max,” said Van Arnem, who lives in Ocean Ridge. 

“They grew up in Delray Beach and we worked hard to build out all our Delray design developments,” he said.

Sonny and his son Max collaborated with Delray Beach developer and family friend Steve Kornfeld to create the Adam Hotel, which was a memorial to Adam, who died in 2014 at the age of 26, predeceasing Max, who died in 2021 at the age of 30.

The Adam Hotel is now the newly completed Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton. 

Peachtree Hospitality Management and Peachtree Hotel Group, LLC were developers and investors in the new project.

Van Arnem Properties Inc. is a real estate group that specializes in the acquisition, sales and development of commercial and residential property. During the past two decades, Sonny Van Arnem first developed real estate projects in southwest Florida and then, in Boca Raton and Delray Beach.

Max, a real estate agent, began working in his father’s company in 2012. Max’s last project was Deco Delray Townhomes on Northeast Fifth Avenue. Max also planned and designed the Maxwell, at 306 NE Second St., diagonally across from the new Hampton Inn.

The Maxwell is a mixed-use condominium building with 23 residential apartments, a rooftop pool, fitness center, meeting rooms, and three retail suites.

Adam also worked with his father.

“I am so proud of my sons,” Van Arnem said. “Their creative force was undeniable and leaves a lasting impression on the city they grew up in and loved. Interestingly enough, a building we owned is where the new hotel’s pool and lobby are now, and all the boys lived there. It was like a clubhouse. Some people are big-time developers; here, we have roots in the ground.”

***

A Barnes & Noble bookstore will open this November at 1821 S. Federal Highway in Delray Beach in a 10,000-square-foot space at the Delray Place North strip mall, said Janine Flanigan, Barnes & Noble’s director of store planning and design.

“We signed the lease mid-May,” she said. “Business is very strong. We plan on opening 30 to 50 stores this year, so we have a robust opening schedule. We haven’t opened this many stores in a year’s time frame in over 10 years.”

That uptick reflects a number of factors, she said.

“During the pandemic, we saw a renewed interest in reading, and also, Barnes & Noble was bought by Elliott Advisors in 2019,” she said.

“Our CEO, James Daunt, has made significant changes in the way we do business that has really resonated.”

For example, the way book sellers used to display books was corporate driven. “Now the book sellers can put in front of their customers books that are important to their communities, so at different stores, you’ll see different displays. Last year, Barnes & Noble opened 16 stores,” she said. “So far this year, we’ve opened six new stores.”

Also at this mall, Nordstrom Rack opened mid-May in a 25,000-square-foot space at 1801 S. Federal Highway.

***

11195302097?profile=RESIZE_584xThe Executive Women of the Palm Beaches Foundation, Inc. recently celebrated its 2023 Women in Leadership Award winners. Its Volunteer Awards went to Sophia Eccleston and Charlotte Pelton. Eccleston serves as director of origination with NextEra Energy and is board president of the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County. Pelton is president and CEO of Charlotte Pelton and Associates Inc., and is chair of Community Partners of South Florida.

The Private Award went to Barbara Cheives, president and CEO of Converge and Associates Consulting. The Non-Profit Award went to Roberta “Robi” Jurney, CEO of the Quantum House. The Public Sector Award winner was Barbara McQuinn, board member of the School District of Palm Beach County District 1. The Emerging Leader award went to Megan Richards Bob, education and family literacy director of the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County.

The Executive Women also spotlighted the 2023 Lois Kwasman Community Impact Grant recipient, Holy Ground, an organization that assists young single women facing homelessness. 

***

The Boca Chamber honored Paul Adkins, chairman & CEO of Florida Peninsula Insurance, as its business leader of the year during the annual Business Awards Luncheon in May at Boca West Country Club. The Business of the Year award recipient was Palm Beach State College. Small Business Leaders of the Year awards went to Bonnie Kaye and Jon Kaye of Kaye Communications PR & Marketing.

“Leaders in their industries, these recipients have created jobs, contributed to our overall economic growth, and have set the bar high for those to follow,” said Troy McLellan, the chamber’s president & CEO.

***

Florida Atlantic University’s public affairs graduate program, in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters School of Public Administration, ranked No. 72 in the U.S. News and World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” for 2023-24. 

***

Delray Beach resident Ryan Wendler has joined Boca Raton-based Flagler Technologies as customer success manager. He will lead client relations for the company’s clients across the United States.

“I fell in love with the customer success element within the sales structure,” Wendler said. “From startups to corporations, my biggest challenge and point of pride has been successfully navigating a customer success team through the pandemic to enable our company and partners to thrive.

“I truly believe that communication and meaningful business relationships are tantamount to the success of any company, and I am very much looking forward to bringing this knowledge and team-based ethos to Flagler Technologies.”

***11195684852?profile=RESIZE_180x180

Boca Raton-based Basis Industrial has appointed Max Ducharme as a managing partner of its new initiative, Basis Alternative Investments, which focuses on investment strategies.

These opportunities include car wash development, distressed and value-add retail, and multi-family development projects. Previously, Ducharme was senior vice president of Investment & Develop-ment for the Falcone Group. 

***

The city of Boynton Beach, Palm Beach State College, and CareerSource Palm Beach County created a partnership that aims to develop a pool of talent for local employers by providing college credit certificate programs for city of Boynton Beach residents.

Called the Workforce Readiness Initiative, it will help people who are unemployed, underemployed, or looking for a career change to gain skills that meet the city’s specific employment needs.  

“I have spoken to so many residents who want to get hired in the businesses that are here in the city, and the disconnect is that the companies — for example, Publix — are looking for certain expertise,” Boynton Beach Mayor Ty Penserga said. “It’s time for us to fill that education and skills gap and align what our employers need with the kind of educational opportunities we provide for our residents.”

Initially, Boynton Beach residents will be offered two Palm Beach State College credit certificate programs —  the 12-credit business specialist program and the 18-credit logistics and transportation specialist program, which will be available for enrollment this summer. CareerSource Palm Beach County will offer tuition support for eligible participants. 

Larry Barszewski contributed to this column.

Send business news to Christine Davis, cdavis9797@gmail.com.

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