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Palm Beach homes: House sells for $12.5 million after couple moves across street

Posted On: 05-20-2019

James Reyes of the Chicago beer-distribution family has paid a recorded $12.5 million for a waterfront Spanish Mediterranean-style house on Palm Beach’s Everglades Island.

He bought the house at 560 Island Drive with Jennifer Ruth Blair as “tenants in common,” according to the deed recorded today.

The house was sold by a couple who just moved into a new lakeside home they built across the street. Fred Barbara and his wife, Lisa Humbert, paid $3.267 million for the house at No. 560 in May 1998, property records show. Fred Barbara had it homesteaded in his name in the latest property tax rolls. Barbara and Humbert declined to comment about the sale.

Reyes, known as Jimmy, is the director of Reyes Holdings LLC — the parent company of Reyes Beverage Group — and is responsible for overseeing the company’s real estate portfolio, which including 65 facilities and more than 6 million square feet of office and distribution space in North America, according to an online biographical sketch.

Reyes also has a leadership role in Reyes Beverage Group, which Forbes has identified as the largest beer-distribution company in the country. In January 2015, Reyes Beverage Group bought South Florida-based Gold Coast Beverage Distributors, a beer distributor, from former Palm Beacher Stephen Levin for a price reported to be as much as $1 billion. Reyes Holdings LLC also is involved in food distribution.

The house Reyes and Blair just bought has six bedrooms and 8,148 square feet of living space, inside an out. A few lots north of the Island Road bridge, it stands on a little more than a third of an acre on the east side of Everglades Island. The rear of the house looks out to the canal separating the mile-long island from the Everglades Golf Course.

Listing agent Paula Wittmann of William Raveis South Florida had the property priced at $13.9 million. It entered the market with another agency in January 2018 at $14.95 million, according to the local multiple listing service. The property landed under contact a month after Wittmann listed it in early February.

Kim Raich of Sotheby’s International Real estate handled the buyer’s side of the sale, MLS shows.

Barbara and Humbert recently moved into their new house at 561 Island Drive on a larger lot directly west of the house that just sold. Designed by Michael Perry of MP Design & Architecture, the house at No. 561 also has Mediterranean-style architecture but in a pared-down style reminiscent of an Italian villa. It was built by Wittmann Building Corp., a company run by Wittmann’s husband, contractor Paul Wittmann.

Paul Wittmann also built Barbara and Humbert’s former house on the east side of Island Drive. That one was developed by Palm Beachers Misbah and Hind Ahdab, who sold it to Barbara and Humbert more than three decades ago while still under construction, courthouse records show.

The sales listing for the house at No. 560 described its high ceilings, impact-resistant French doors, custom-designed fireplace and detailed ceilings, along with a kitchen equipped with high-end appliances. The layout includes a breakfast area, a generously sized family room and a second-floor master suite with a sitting area and terrace.

Barbara and Humbert’s new house replaced a 1950s-era residence owned for many years by Ruby Rinker, who sold it for a recorded $10 million in April 2016. Broker Brandon Rinker of Rinker Realty represented his grandmother in the private sale opposite agent Jim McCann, who handled the buyer’s side. McCann was then with the Corcoran Group but is today affiliated with Premier Estate Properties.

McCann had previously listed Barbara and Humbert’s house across the street for sale, it but it never found a buyer. When Paula Wittmann acquired the listing, she said, she had the house “staged” with furniture to help potential buyers visualize what rooms would look like furnished. That helped the house sell quickly after she listed it, she said.

In 2017, Reyes’ brother, David “Duke” K. Reyes, and wife Pamela A. Perri Reyes paid a recorded $11.5 million for a house built in 2016 at 151 Chilean Ave., property records show.


Source: Darrell Hofheinz, May 20, 2019, Palm Beach Daily News

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