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Landmarked building at 264 S. County Road sells for $5.25 million

Posted On: 07-24-2015

By Darrell Hofheinz Daily News Real Estate Writer

Designed by noted society architect Addison Mizner, the iconic coral Keystone-clad building that for many years housed 264 The Grill, has changed hands, according to a deed recorded Friday.

The price paid for 264 S. County Road was $5.25 million, the deed showed.

The buyer was Rockhopper Properties LLC, a Florida entity controlled by Palm Beacher Darlene Jordan, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general. She is married to hedge-fund financier Gerald Jordan, president of Boston-based Hellman, Jordan Management Co. The deed listed their Palm Beach home as the buyer’s address.

Built in 1930 at the entrance to historic Phipps Plaza, the landmarked building on South County Road was sold by two Florida entities — Carriage House Decorations Inc. and Eclectic Inc.

Carriage House Decorations, the majority owner, is controlled by Jeanne A. Marks of West Palm Beach, state business records show. For many years, the building housed Marks’ decorating studio.

Eclectic Inc.’s officers are Steven C. Marks, Shelly R. Marks, Steven A. Marks and Jennifer R. Marks, all with the same Palm Beach Gardens address.

Built for E.F. Hutton

Just north of Royal Palm Way, the two-story, 5,183-square-foot building was built as a brokerage office for E.F. Hutton. At the time, Hutton was married to Marjorie Merriweather Post, and the couple had recently completed Mar-a-Lago, their lavish home on South Ocean Boulevard.

The main space in the building on South County Road housed the 264 The Grill restaurant for nearly 40 years. The Daily News reported earlier that the restaurant had shuttered its doors June 21 in response to the pending sale, and its owners, Patricia Gatti and Avery Watson, were scouting a new location. The new owners have targeted the space for another restaurant and are planning a major renovation, according to sources familiar with the property.

The building also houses Smith Interior Design Group at 244 Phipps Plaza. Principal designer Bill Kopp couldn’t be reached for comment.

Sotheby’s International Realty agent Todd Peter handled the buyer’s side of the sale. He declined to comment, and the Jordans couldn’t be reached.

Douglas Elliman agent Linda Lawrence had listed the building at $6.7 million. She co-listed it with Steve J. Davis, also of Douglas Elliman. The building had been on the market for a little more than five months when it sold.

The building sold for $1,012 per square foot. “That’s an incredible price,” said Davis, adding that he fielded offers from multiple buyers. “It shows the value of such an iconic, trophy building.

”Lawrence, the widow of the late Palm Beach architect Eugene Lawrence, said her husband considered the building one of Mizner’s best designs. “I was so honored to get the listing. Jeanne Marks is a good friend. I’m glad it worked out well for her,” Lawrence said.

Jeanne Marks couldn’t be reached.

The building occupies a lot measuring a little less than a fifth of an acre. It was one of Mizner’s final Palm Beach commissions and was built for an estimated $35,000 — one of Hutton’s three offices in Palm Beach, according to a 2011 Daily News article by local historian Augustus Mayhew.

The building originally contained a boardroom and four offices on the ground level with smaller offices above. “During the 1940s, this one-of-a-kind building became Finchley’s, a popular boutique-restaurant lounge, evolving into what has become the 264 restaurant,” Mayhew wrote.

The building complements another Mizner design, the 1924 Plaza Building, on the other side of the entrance into Phipps Plaza, a commercial and residential neighborhood built around a circular drive.

 

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, July 24, 2015, Palm Beach Daily News

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