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Palm Beach real estate: Landmark house sells for about $14 million

Posted On: 12-19-2017

Casa Giravento, a Palm Beach landmarked house built in 1927, has changed hands in the Estate Section for $13.96 million, according to a deed recorded today by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.

The sellers, Dr. James “Jim” Edward Niedel and his wife, Selaine, paid $9.3 million in late 2009 for the ocean-block Mediterranean-style house at 115 Via La Selva. It stands on about an acre at the corner of South County Road.

Philip B. and Catherine N. Korsant were the buyers, acting as trustees of a revocable trust in his name, the deed shows.

Designed by noted society architect Maurice Fatio, the property has eight bedrooms and about 12,800 square feet of living space, inside and out, according to the sales listing prepared by the Corcoran Group.

The Corcoran Group handled both sides of the sale. Agents Paulette Koch and Dana Koch, who represented the sellers, had the residence priced at $16.9 million. It entered the market in February, according to records in the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

Agents Allison Wren and Suzanne Frisbie negotiated on behalf of the buyer.

The Koches’ listing described the estate as “a huge Palm Beach parcel with original details intact.” The main house features a 30-by-20-foot living room, a library and six bedroom suites, including a first-floor master suite. Outdoors are a pair of loggias, a courtyard, lush gardens and a 50-by-25-foot swimming pool with an “oversized” cabana.

The town designated the house a landmark in 1990, so walls viewable from the street can’t be altered without the permission of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The exterior has many of the details for which the Mediterranean Revival style is famous, including a barrel-tile roof, a stucco façade, decorative stone elements, arched windows and metal window grilles.

The street-side façade features a rusticated-stone arched entry set into a three-story square tower — offering wide views on four sides — flanked by two-story wings. The rest of the house stretches to the north in a rough U-shape.

Dr. Niedel is a biopharmaceuticals executive who founded New Leave Venture Partners and was a venture partner at Sprout Group as well as chief science and tenchology officer at GlaxoSmith Kline, according to public records. He also is a former professor and chief of the division of clinical pharmacology at Duke Medical School in North Carolina.

The house was built for Warner L. Jones and later owned by Detroit real estate tycoon Wesson Seyburn and his wife, Winifred Dodge Seyburn. The Seyburn family for more than four decades spent holidays at the residence, according to architectural historian Augustus Mayhew. Winifred Dodge Seyburn’s father was pioneering auto manufacturer John Dodge.

“In what was (Palm Beach’s) version of ‘Dodge City,’ Mrs. Seyburn’s sister, Isabel Dodge Sloane, lived nearby at Concha Marina and her aunt, Mrs. Horace E. Dodge, owned Playa Riente, regarded as (society architect) Addison Mizner’s most magnificent house. Upon Mrs. Seyburn’s death in 1980, her estate sold the Via la Selva property,” Mayhew wrote in a 2010 article for New York Social Diary.

The Koches acted for the Niedels in their 2009 purchase, opposite their Corcoran colleagues Rosalind Clarke and Laura Coyner. The Niedels bought the house from real estate developer Edward Falcone, who in turn had paid $7.3 million for it in 2004.

After selling the house, Falcone a year later paid a recorded $28.75 million for a landmarked 1938 estate on the lake at 8 S. Lake Trail. He and his ex-wife, Faye Judd Falcone, last May sold that property for $27 million as part of their divorce settlement. On the sellers’ side of the deal was agent Toni Hollis, then with The Fite Group but today with Waterfront Properties and Club Communities. Fite Group agent Chris Deitz presented the buyer, a Delaware limited liability company.




Source: Darrell Hofheinz, December 19, 2017, Palm Beach Daily News

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