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Boston Celtics co-owner sells Palm Beach Biltmore condo for $7 million

Posted On: 05-16-2017

Real estate investor Stephen R Lewinstein, a co-owner of the Boston Celtics, has sold his two-story condominium in the North Tower of the Palm Beach Biltmore for $7 million, according to information about the off-market sale posted today on the Palm Beach County Clerk’s website.

The sale has set a Biltmore record for the price paid per square foot. The recorded price works out to $2,843 per square foot, based on the unit’s 2,462 square feet of living space, inside and out, property records show.

More Palm Beach Real Estate news

 

It also is likely the second-highest price per square foot ever paid for a unit on the Intracoastal Waterway in Palm Beach. It trails the $2,972 per square foot paid in May 2013 when a much larger penthouse down the street in Il Lugano sold for $17.45 million. That deal also ranks as the most expensive condo ever sold in Palm Beach.

The buyer in the Biltmore deal is Charles J. Moore of Chicago, the deed shows. Moore is president of The Banc Funds Co., a Chicago-based investment advisory firm.

Sotheby’s International Realty agent Victoria Baker confirmed she handled the buyer’s side of the sale. She declined to comment further.

Broker Tara Eden Pearl of Palm Beach Real Estate represented the seller. Pearl also acted on behalf of Lewinstein, who is married to Diana Lewinstein, in March 2012 when he bought the three-bedroom tower suite for a recorded $2.5 million, according to the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Pearl declined to identify anyone involved in the sale or discuss specifics about the transaction.

Known as No. 1101 at 150 Bradley Place, the north tower suite has 20-foot ceilings, an elevator and an expansive private terrace offering views from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway, according to previous listings in the local MLS. Originally about 1,390 square feet, the unit was expanded when a previous owner carved a loft area from an abandoned elevator shaft stretching into the north tower. The apartment was sold with two garage spaces.

Each of The Biltmore’s two towers has a single apartment. The building was converted in the 1980s from a former 1926 hotel.

When Lewinstein bought the apartment from John and Shirley Urbon, it was listed at just under $3.5 million by agent Thor M. Brown of The Fite Group, then known as Fite Shavell & Associates. That transaction was a so-called lender-authorized “short sale,” in which the Urbons sold the condo for less than what they owed on it, according to sources familiar with the deal. During the two years after they bought it, the Urbons signed four mortgages with lenders totaling about $5.35 million, courthouse records show.

As part of their renovations, the Urbons had added the loft area.

Chicagoan, Rhode Islander

 

Moore is married, according to the deed. He founded his private equity firm in 1986 and specializes in buyouts, according to Bloomberg.com and other sources. The firm invests in financial institutions and life insurance companies, especially in the Midwest.

Stephen Lewinstein owns another Biltmore apartment, No. 508, which he bought in 1985, property records show.

Lewinstein has ties to Newport, R.I., where he has a condominium in a 1920s waterfront mansion, The Waves.

He is a longtime Rhode Island real estate developer and investor whose portfolio includes properties in nearby Providence.

Pearl now has been involved in four sales in which the north tower apartment changed hands, she said.

Directly opposite the north tower, the smaller condominium in the south tower, No. 1102, last changed hands in 2013 in a $3.64 million deal brokered by Lawrence A. Moens Associates. That one-bedroom, 1,390-square-foot unit traded at $2,619 per square foot. Geraldine Rosen and Paul Rothman sold it to Joseph J. Plumeri, property records show.

Several Palm Beach oceanfront condos have sold for higher prices per square foot than either this week’s Biltmore sale or the record-setting Il Lugano deal.

In the sale at Il Lugano, 300 Seminole Ave., Lee and Laura Munder sold Penthouse 6A — with 5,870 square feet of living space, inside and out — to an entity linked to the Tisch family of New York City-based Loews Corp. Agent Jim McCann of the Corcoran Group said he took part in that Il Lugano sale, but the full details were never disclosed.

 

Sizable Biltmore sales

 

Over the past decade, the 108-unit Biltmore has seen a number of sales with recorded prices exceeding $6 million or more.

In May 2007, the building’s south penthouse, with 3,914 square feet, sold for $8.9 million, or $2,273 per square foot. Agents Toni Hollis and Gloria More — then of Sotheby’s International Realty and today with The Fite Group — were the listing agents for sellers, Gerald Tsai Jr. and Nancy Anne Raeburn Tsai, while Pearl represented the buyers, Raul E. and Liliana Cesan.

In June 2015, John D. Idol paid $7.4 million for Penthouse E, a two-bedroom unit with 3,299 total square feet. The price worked out to $2,243 per square foot. Idol bought the condo from trusts in the name of Pari-Sima Pahlavi. Agent Jeff Cloninger of Sotheby’s International Realty had the listing opposite agent Liza Pulitzer of Brown Harris Stevens.

In November 2014, longtime Palm Beachers Alan and Christine Curtis paid $7.65 million — or $1,759 per square foot — for a two-bedroom double apartment with 4,349 total square feet. The seller of units 109G and 110F was Roy L. Furman, representing the estate of his late wife, Frieda Anne. Broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens & Associates handled both sides of the off-the-market sale.

In April 2007, the north penthouse — with 3,892 square feet — changed hands in April 2007 for $6 million, or $1,542 per square foot. The seller was Arlene Blau and the buyer was Linda Macaulay, who later transferred her ownership to a trust. The sale was handled by agent Stephen Ploof of Linda A. Gary Real Estate.

 

BILTMORE HISTORY

* 1925: Builder Maurice Heckscher opens The Alba Hotel with 500 rooms and is later operated as the Ambassador and the Biltmore, a celebrity draw.

* 1942-1945: During World War II, serves as a training barracks for the U.S. Coast Guard women’s auxiliary and a U.S. Navy convalescent hospital.

* 1970: Closes, sitting vacant seven years.

* 1977: Stanley Harte buys the hotel for a condominium conversion.

* 1978: The 132-unit Palm Beach Biltmore opens, the island’s first “adaptive-reuse” project.

 

 

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, May 16, 2017, Palm Beach Daily News

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