By Christine Davis
The former Manalapan Fl. oceanfront home of the late Generoso Pope, founder and publisher of the National Enquire, is for sale yet again.
Located on three acres at 1370 S. Ocean Blvd., it is undergoing extensive renovations that are scheduled to be completed in February 2015, said Jack Elkins, a realtor with Fite Shavell, Inc., who is listing the house with Bunny Hiatt.
Currently, the seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom, two-half-bath home, with 32,091 total square feet, is priced at $30.499 million, but as more aspects are completed, the price of the house will increase, he added. “In a couple of weeks, it will go up $1 million, and will continue to go up accordingly.
“This will be the largest spec house on the strip. It has 300 feet on the oceanfront; the only house on that strip with more than that is the Vanderbilt estate. It also has 300 feet on the Intracoastal Waterway, which would allow dockage for a superyacht up to 150 feet.”
The renovated house, which now features deep overhangs and a white coral stone and ipe wood exterior, will look different and feel different, he said. “It’s a tranquil, modern Tahitian-Transitional-style, and has all the amenities of a resort.”
According to the Warranty Deed, the property is owned by Blue Water EJ LLC, a company with an address in New Port Richey linked to Edward M. Brown .
The architect, Gregory Bonner, of B1 Architects in West Palm Beach, has been working on the house for the past year and a half, and called the project massive. “It was a gut-rehab. Pretty much everything is new. We left the shell, but we did add some square footage. All the openings in the walls are different; the roof is different; but the floors are intact.”
Almost all of the rooms have ocean views and there are two elevator towers. In addition to the living and dining room and bedrooms, there are also an art gallery, library, club room, bar, wine room, family room, media room, home theater, children’s family room, second-floor family room, cabana, office, and a gym with a spa salon, massage room and yoga terrace.
In both the living room and family room, three 9-by-20-foot sections of glass remain and were incorporated into the new design, because “they can’t be made today,” Bonner said. Some outstanding new features include a soaring glass staircase in the living room, which has 20-foot ceiling heights, a 20-foot-high-by-six-foot-wide waterfall in the grand foyer, and ceilings throughout with a variety of architectural embellishments. The lady’s bathroom has a fireplace, and the 20-by-40-foot master bedroom with a ceiling height of 17 feet at the perimeter, is crowned by an 18-by-27-foot skylight.
Outside, in addition to the dock, there are a pool, grotto, water features, and a pond with a bridge. When pulling through the front gate, the first view will be a16-foot-high waterfall, which masks a 6-to-10-car garage / man cave with a skylight, which was built into a slope. This is in addition to the main garage, which can hold 10-to-12 cars.
The landscape designer is Keith Williams of Nievera Williams Design.
The owners originally planned to live in the home, but have since decided otherwise, Elkins said. “Mr. Brown saw that Manalapan is a hot market, and with that much water frontage, he wanted to make an exceptional house on the property as an investment opportunity.”
A rundown of the home’s transactions – a total of more than $123 million – since 1999.
• In 1999, Delray Beach developer Frank McKinney purchased the property from Lois Pope for $15 million.
• Following an extensive remodel, McKinney sold it in November 2000 to the Binky Revocable Trust for $27.5 million, to software entrepreneur Daniel Gittleman.
• July 2004, McKinney's company, Venture Concepts International Inc., took back the property's title for $19 million.
• Two months later, another sale of the property was recorded. This time, McKinney's company sold the estate for $22.4 million to motivational speakers Peter S. and Tamara A. Lowe.
• June 2009, there was a recorded sale for $22,458,456 to Germantown-Seneca Joint Venture; it was an amount almost equal to the existing Bank America liens on the property. According to SEC filings, Germantown-Seneca’s general partners were two wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America: Ritchie Court M and Harper Farm M., both Maryland-based corporations.
• MGM Designs, LCC. bought the estate on February 25, 2010 for $12 million.
• And finally, in December 2012, the sale to the Browns for $15,630,000.