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Everglades Island sale largest in months

Posted On: 04-09-2012

By Darrell Hofheinz 

Updated: 1:32 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Posted: 6:03 p.m. Monday, April 9, 2012

 

In Palm Beach’s largest residential deal in six months, John B. Haggin Jr. has sold his family’s longtime home on the southwestern tip of Everglades Island for a recorded $13.5 million.

Three limited liability companies — all associated with Chicago real estate developer and part-time Palm Beacher Fred Latsko — bought the house at 757 Island Drive as “tenants in common.”

State business records list Latsko as the “manager” of each entity, and all have a different percentage of interest in the house, according to the April 2 warranty deed recorded Saturday by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.

The sales contract was signed in July, two weeks after the 1956 house with 380 feet of waterfront was listed for sale, said listing broker Linda Gary, whose company, Linda A. Gary Real Estate, handled both sides of the transaction. Gary had listed the property at $15.9 million, a price she said covered the value of the land alone.

“I was pleased that we were able to sell it so fast. It was the dead of summer,” Gary said. “It turned out to be a very good deal for both the buyer and the seller.”

Gary’s sales listing said the four-bedroom house, with nearly 7,500 square feet of living space, inside and out, was in need of renovations. She stressed the property’s wide views of the Intracoastal Waterway, Palm Beach and West Palm Beach.

Months to finalize

It took months to finalize the details of the deal and close the sale. Gary would not disclose the specific reasons for the repeated delays or comment on any other aspects of the transaction, including whether Latsko would replace the outdated house.

Over the past several years, Latsko, a principal in Chicago-based Structure Management Midwest, made headlines for financial troubles related to commercial projects he developed and lenders who hadn’t been paid, according to media reports, including stories in Crain’s Chicago Business. In 2010, he settled a $21-million foreclosure suit filed against a portfolio of retail buildings he developed in Chicago. That was the same year he bounced checks for development fees, which he later covered, totaling about $900,000 to the City of Chicago, according to press reports.

Last April, he bought a house at 220 Polmer Park under his own name, which Gary’s agency has listed for sale at a bit more than $5.3 million. He signed a $4.5 million mortgage on that property in February.

Latsko could not be reached for comment Monday.

‘It was charming’

Haggin’s parents, the late Naoma and John Ben Ali Haggin, bought the house more than four decades ago and their son spent many years there. Ownership transferred to him the year after his mother died in 2003.

Haggin is a speedboat aficionado who, for seven years, headed and funded the world-champion AMF Offshore/Miss GEICO offshore powerboat racing team. He retired from that organization in 2010.

Haggin and his former wife, equestrian Angenita Grande Haggin, divorced in 2010, according to court records. Last Memorial Day, John Haggin married the former Sammi Toko at The Breakers.

The couple and his wife’s young daughter, Haggin said, have moved to a five-bedroom waterfront house in Sea Ranch Lakes in Broward County he bought in March 2011 for $3.75 million, according to property records.

Selling the Island Drive property was bittersweet because the house was filled with memories, including the family’s early days there when the house wasn’t air-conditioned, he said.

“I’d never heard of a house without air conditioning, but it was all sliding-glass doors, and it was charming. It was our family home for 45 years. Growing up there was lovely. Palm Beach treated me so well. I thought I’d live there the rest of my life, but then I met the woman of my dreams,” Haggin said, adding that his wife wanted to live farther south.

He was ready for a more settled life after years spent traveling on the cigarette-boat racing circuit, he said.

“It’s time to just put my luggage in the closet,” he said.

Haggin also was briefly married to the former Roxanne Pulitzer in 1992.

  

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, April 9, 2012, Palm Beach Daily News

http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/everglades-island-sale-largest-in-months-2292771.html

 

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