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North End lakefront lot sells for $8M

Posted On: 03-08-2013

By Darrell Hofheinz

Daily News Real Estate Writer

Once reportedly part of radio firebrand Rush Limbaugh’s divorce settlement, a vacant lakefront lot at 318 Caribbean Road has changed hands for a recorded $8 million. It was sold by an entity linked to the family that lives next door.

The seller was a Florida limited liability company controlled by Thomas Whitesell, who lives with his wife, Deborah, in a lakefront house at 400 Caribbean Road, immediately north of the vacant lot.

The buyer was a Delaware-based limited liability company named 318 Caribbean Road Holdings LLC, according to the deed recorded Tuesday by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.

Agent Crista Ryan of Tina Fanjul Associates said she put together the deal but declined to comment on the parties involved or specific details of the transaction. No other real esate agent was involved, she said.

“I think it was a reasonable price, fair to the market,” Ryan said. “There’s very little (buildable) lakefront property available.”

Trust in name of Limbaugh’s third wife

The wedge-shaped lot lies near the northern tip of Palm Beach and measures a little more than three-fourths of an acre with 126 feet of water frontage. But it was larger — measuring 1.04 acres with 145 feet on the water — when three of the Whitesells’ adult children bought it in May 2006 for a recorded $12.5 million, property records show.

They bought it from a trust in the name of Marta Maranda, Limbaugh’s third wife. She had acquired it with a value of $9 million as part of the settlement of the couple’s 2004 divorce, according to property records and newspaper reports.

Records show that in 2003, the RH Trust — an entity linked to Limbaugh — had paid $9 million for the property, which was sold by Margaretha W. Rumbough and a trust in her name. The deal set what was then a Palm Beach record for a “land sale,” defined as being either vacant or having a house in such poor condition that it would be ripe for demolition. Sotheby’s International Realty handled both sides of the sale — agent Mary Boykin was the listing agent, and the buyer was represented by Marianne Chopp, who has since joined the Corcoran Group.

House razed

After buying the property six years ago, the Whitesell family subsequently demolished the 7,800-square-foot house there and shaved off about a fourth of an acre to accommodate a new guest house for their home next door.

Thomas Whitesell’s limited libability company, Caribbean 318 LLC, acquired the property via a $10.5 million deed transfer in September 2007. The sellers were the Whitesells’ children — Tracey Whitesell, James K. Whitesell and Evan W. Heitzman.

Thomas Whitesell had lately offered the vacant lot for sale “by owner” with a $10 million asking price. A sign at the property directed phone inquiries to Whitesell Construction Co., the family business he owns in Delran, N.J. He and his wife also have property in Morrestown, N.J.

Thomas Whitesell did not return a phone call seeking comment about the sale.

According to the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service, agent Lore D. Smith of Sotheby’s International Realty had represented the buyer’s side of the 2006 sale of 318 Caribbean Road, with agent Laura A. Coyner of the Corcoran Group acting for the seller.

MLS records also show Smith had listed the vacant lot for $13.9 million in August 2008. It had not sold when the listing expired a year later. Smith declined to comment on any of her previous dealings with the property.

Because the deed listed 318 Caribbean Road as the address of the entity that bought the vacant lot, no further information about the buyer was available.

Thomas Whitesell acted as “manager/member” of the limited libability company that sold the lot and is listed in state business records as having an address at 400 Caribbean Road. The Whitesell family business develops, owns and manages commercial real estate projects in southern New Jersey and southern Pennsylvania, according to its website.

 

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, March 8, 2013, Palm Beach Daily News

http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/news/news/north-end-lakefront-lot-sells-for-8m/nWkWL/

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