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Everglades Island house fetches $7.9M

Posted On: 10-18-2012

By Darrell Hofheinz

Daily News Real Estate Writer

Atlanta businessman Guy Millner and his wife, Virginia “Ginny” Millner, have parted with their Georgian-style house at 631 Island Drive on the west side of Everglades Island in a $7.9 million deal recorded this week by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.

Richard and Linda Schaps of New York are linked in state business records to Everglades Associates LLC, the Florida limited liability company that bought the house. That entity’s address on the deed, which was recorded Tuesday, is the New York City headquarters of Van Wagner, the outdoor and sports-venue advertising company owned by Richard Schaps.

Agents at Sotheby’s International Realty handled both sides of the transaction. Cristina Condon had last listed the seven-bedroom house at $9.25 million, which was reduced from the original $11.9 million asking price set when the property entered the market at the end of June 2011. Agent Fern M. Fodiman was on the other side of the deal.

Condon and Fodiman said they could not comment on anyone involved in the sale or specific details of the transaction.

Built in 1961, the house stands on a lot measuring nearly a half-acre, a few lots south of the Island Road bridge that links Everglades Island to the main barrier island. With 8,665 square feet of living space, inside and out, the rear of the house offers views of the Intracoastal Waterway and West Palm Beach.

“The property has 130 feet of waterfront,” Condon said. “That’s big for Island Drive.”

The Millners paid $2.85 million for the house in 1995, property records show.

The Schaps have homes in New York City and Sagaponack, N.Y., property records show.

Richard Schaps, a native of New York City, started his career in the city’s outdoor-advertising business and, in 1997, sold the original Van Wagner company, known by then for its lighted billboards on Times Square. He retained rights to the company’s name and shortly thereafter reopened the firm, which specializes in billboards, aerial advertising, sports promotions and other “out-of-home” marketing media, according to its website.

The sellers have deep roots in Georgia, where in the 1990s Guy Millner ran unsuccessfully for governor in two races and also lost a bid for the U.S. Senate, all on the Republican ticket. His business ventures include founding the Norrell Corp., a temporary-staffing agency in 1961, and he later served as chairman and CEO of AssuranceAmerica Corp., an insurance company based in Atlanta, where the Millners have a home. His wife founded an animal-welfare organization there.

Condon said Everglades Island offers a number of selling points, although she acknowledges that its location near Tarpon Island and the Everglades Golf Course makes it one of the town’s hidden assets.

“People don’t even know it exists,” she said. “I think a lot of people like it because it’s very convenient and close to Worth Avenue. They also don’t get the airplane noise that you might hear at properties to the south. And the street is beautiful.”

A phone call to Richard Schaps’ office requesting comment was not returned. The Millners also could not be reached for comment.


Source: Darrell Hofheinz, October 18, 2012, Palm Beach Daily News


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