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Estate Section house built in 1922 sells for recorded $20.38 million

Posted On: 04-17-2017

After buying the priciest house sold last year in Palm Beach, hedge-fund manager Kenneth G. Tropin has parted with his other residence here for about $20.38 million, the price recorded today with the deed for 100 El Bravo Way.

Tropin sold his oceanfront house in the Estate Section via a revocable trust in his name. Built in 1922, the Mediterranean-style house stands on a lot of about an acre, separated from the beach by South Ocean Boulevard.

With seven bedrooms and 14,318 total square feet, the house faces about 170 feet of oceanfront, a little more than a mile north of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago.

The deed lists the buyer is El Sueno LLC, a limited liabiltiy company managed by estate-planning attorney Bridget L. Mullaney, a partner at Cameron & Mittleman LLP of Providence, R.I. No other information about the buyer’s side of the sale was immediately available.

Corcoran Group agent Suzanne Frisbie represented both sides in the deal, according to the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

Tropin’s trust took sole ownership of the house through a $12.5 million deed transfer in May 2015, a couple of months after he and Kathleen Tropin divorced, courthouse records show. The couple paid $15 million for the house in 2003.

In March 2016, Kenneth Tropin used the same trust to pay $43.7 million for a beachfront house developed on speculation at 1695 N. Ocean Way. He bought that house furnished from its developer, Palm Beacher Pat Carney.

With ties to New Canaan, Conn., Kenneth Tropin founded and is chairman of Graham Capital Management. Established in 1994, the company is based in Rowayton, Conn., and has “total firm assets” of $14 billion, according to its website. The company also has offices in West Palm Beach and London.

Frisbie also handled the buyer’s side 14 years ago when Tropin and his then-wife bought the house, listed for sale at the time by Sotheby’s Real Estate agent Cristina Condon.

And Frisbie represented the Tropin trust last year in the purchase on North Ocean Way. It was not only the most expensive sale recorded in 2016 but also is the second-most expensive “spec” house ever sold in Palm Beach, property records show.

Frisbie listed the El Bravo Way house in late September at $29.75 million and dropped the price twice in February to $25.5 million. Her listing in the local MLS noted that the property went under contract March 30.

Frisbie declined to comment about the sale, citing a confidentiality agreement. Kenneth Tropin and Mullaney couldn’t be reached.

In her sales description, Frisbie described the house as “impeccably maintained and updated” with state-of-the-art electronics, lighting and WiFi systems.

The floor plan revolves around a courtyard with multiple seating and dining areas and a heated pool and spa. In addition to separate guest quarters, the property has a staff apartment over the three-car garage.

The house was designed by noted society architect Marion Sims Wyeth but has been substantially altered over the years. It was expanded in 1930 by architect Howard Major and then substantially renovated and restored by the late builder-developer Bill Elias, who bought it in 2000 for $6.5 million.

“The great visionaries have always displayed wealth in different ways,” Elias told the Daily News in 2002. “It was dark and dilapidated. I made it livable for today’s market.”

The Tropins carried out their own updates to the property.

The cumulative effect of the renovations was the main reason the town rejected the house for landmark protection in 2012. At the time, the Tropins had argued against having the house landmarked.

In late 2015, the Architectural Commission gave a thumbs-up to several proposed renovation projects that would have altered facades of the house, including changes to windows and French doors. But those projects were never carried out.

At the time that the proposed changes were being presented to the board, the architect who designed them said they would bring needed light into the house.

Kenneth Tropin’s new house on North Ocean Way measures 24,000 square feet and presides over 2½ acres with 110 feet of oceanfront. Frisbie’s Corcoran colleague Jim McCann was the listing agent when Tropin’s trust bought the house.

Kathleen Tropin in 2013 paid $8.3 million for a 1928 house at 200 El Brillo Way and has carried out an extensive renovation and restoration project there. Frisbie acted on her behalf in the purchase opposite listing agent Christian J. Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate. In 2016, the town granted the El Brillo Way house’s north façade landmark protection.

Real estate observers consider El Brillo Way — and its sister “El” streets, El Bravo Way and El Vedado Road — among the most desirable in Palm Beach because of their Estate Section location, their architectural character and their proximity to Midtown. As a result, houses in the neighborhood have often fetched premium prices.

 

 

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, April 17, 2017, Palm Beach Daily News

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