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Jimmy Buffett buys house on Root Trail

Posted On: 04-28-2013

By Darrell Hofheinz

Daily News Real Estate Writer

Jimmy Buffett has paid about $1 million for a newly rebuilt Key West-style house on Root Trail, across the street from a property the singer has owned for more than a decade.

Buffett bought the house at 135A Root Trail through the same limited liability company he used in 2002 to acquire the building across the street at 138 Root Trail, property records show. Buffett and his wife, Jane, also own a single-family home on the North End in their names.

Sadeca Realty LLC paid $950,000 for No. 135A, a three-bedroom residence with 3,163 square feet of living space, inside and out. The price was recorded with the deed late last month by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.

“It was a very quick sale. I think the buyer had his eye on it a while,” said developer and real estate agent John C. Cerreta, adding that a confidentiality agreement prevented him from identifying the buyer or providing specifics about the deal.

Cerreta said he has a sale pending for another house he redeveloped at 135B Root Trail, immediately east of the one that just sold. But he wouldn’t say whether the buyer is the same one who bought No. 135A.

With unfinished interiors, the walls of No. 135A wrap around the walls of a four-unit apartment building built in the early 20th century, Cerreta said. Codes required that the original clay-block walls be preserved but strengthened as a condition for redevelopment.

Sporting architecture reminiscent of homes in Key West, the house stands on the west side of a courtyard opposite No. 135B, the slightly larger house with finished interiors that’s listed for sale at $1.59 million. That four-bedroom house also occupies the footprint of a vintage four-apartment building.

Cerreta converted both apartment buildings to single-family houses with business partner Steve Allen.

Allen and Cerreta are listed in state business records as manager/members of Root Ocean Property LLC, the Palm Beach Gardens entity that sold the property, according to the deed recorded March 25. Allen owns Southeast Realty Group in Juno Beach.

Ceretta is affiliated with Golden Bear Realty International, a North Palm Beach agency owned by the family of golfer Jack Nicklaus. The house that just sold had been listed for sale at $1.495 million by agent M.J. McElwaney, one of Cerreta’s colleagues at the agency.

The house had been on the market since last July. But the sale closed relatively quickly after the buyer expressed interest in the house, which finished construction within the last two months, Ceretta said.

Broker Denise A. Hanley of Denise A. Hanley Inc., who has represented Buffett in other real estate deals, acted on behalf of Sadeca Realty LLC, according to the Palm Beach Board of Realtor Multiple Listing Service. Buffett is Sadeca Realty’s manager/member, business records show.

Hanley said she and her client, whom she also did not name, would not comment on the sale.

Town Hall records show the two buildings originally were proposed for redevelopment by architect Eugene Fagan, but his plans never came to fruition. In 2009, the properties were sold, and Cerreta and Allen redeveloped the east building first, followed by the one at No. 135A, Cerreta said.

Among Palm Beach’s oldest streets, Root Trail runs between the beach and North County Road, four streets north of The Breakers. Once an artist’s colony, it is lined with historic buildings, many of them beach cottages or apartments.

Over the past couple of years, several properties there have been purchased and restored or are in the process of being renovated. They include a rebuilt two-bedroom cottage with 1,000 square feet at No. 149 that McElvaney has listed at $799,000.

In 2011, the Buffets bought a three-bedroom house on Garden Road, having sold their oceanfront mansion the year before. Sadeca Realty also owns a house on Sunset Road in West Palm Beach, records show.

 

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, April 28, 2013, Palm Beach Daily News

http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/news/buffett-buys-house-on-root-trail/nXZcK/

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