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Everglades Island lot sells for $5M to trust; custom home planned

Posted On: 03-13-2012

By Darrell Hofheinz 

Updated: 8:03 p.m. Thursday, March 8, 2012

Posted: 7:27 p.m. Thursday, March 8, 2012


A custom home appears destined for a vacant lot with 135 feet of lakefront on Everglades Island that changed hands for $5 million, the price on the warranty deed recorded Wednesday by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.

Agent Mary Boykin of Sotheby’s International Realty had listed the property for the seller, a Delaware entity named United Properties Group LLC and associated in public records with James E. Mattei, a real estate investor who also co-founded the Checkers fast-food chain. The limited liability company has a mailing address in Charlotte, N.C.

The deed lists the buyer as a trust named after the address of the property, with attorney Maura Ziska serving as its trustee. Ziska was out of her West Palm Beach office Thursday and could not be reached for comment.

Boykin did not identify anyone associated with the trust but said the buyers were not represented by any other real estate agency.

The buyers plan to build a custom home on the lot on the west side of Everglades Island, six lots south of the Island Road bridge, Boykin said. She added that she could not disclose any other details about the buyers or the transaction, citing confidentiality agreements.

Mattei had bought the property through the limited liability company for a recorded $6 million in August 2009 from family trustees of the residence trust for Adelaide M. Wean. Mattei subsequently demolished a 1950s-era, 5,700-square-foot house there and listed the lot for sale with Boykin.

Boykin had last listed the house at $5.9 million, although at one point it had been priced “substantially higher,” she said, noting that the price was subsequently lowered to better align with market realities in the wake of the recession.

Boykin, who said she had the listing for about 18 months, noted that interest in the property had mounted recently, especially among shoppers looking for new houses in the Midtown area — a rarity these days. Depending on his or her price range, building anew may be a buyer’s only option, she added.

“People are looking for new houses, and they haven’t been able to find them,” Boykin said. “People want to be close to Worth Avenue and on the water.”

Some would-be buyers were also attracted because the property offers a Midtown address that can accommodate a deep-water yacht, Boykin added. Everglades Island is one of the few Midtown sites that offer a deep-water location, which is far more common on lakefront properties in the North End.

At the time he bought the lot, Mattei had just built a Venetian-style, 7,800-square-foot house for himself on the other side of the street at 650 Island Drive.

Over the past several years, property records show, Mattei has bought and sold a number of properties, including apartments, in Palm Beach.


Source: Darrell Hofheinz, March 13, 2012, Palm Beach Daily News



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