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Seaside estate priced at $47.8M under contract

Posted On: 04-04-2014

By Darrell Hofheinz Daily News Staff Writer

Never underestimate the call of the sea – or the allure of a big chunk of oceanfront — in Palm Beach.

Six months after it hit the market at $47.8 million, billionaire Jon L. Stryker’s 2.6-acre seaside property is under contract, according to the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

With 300 feet facing the sea, the property has three addresses and two vintage houses, including an empty oceanfront home at 540 S. Ocean Blvd. once owned by Margaritaville singer Jimmy Buffett and wife Jane.

A vacant oceanfront lot next door at 530 S. Ocean is part of package. So is an adjacent landmarked house at 61 Middle Road, which Stryker sensitively restored for his own use after buying it in 1994.

Corcoran Group’s Team Koch – that’s Paulette and her son, Dana – listed the properties in early October and had hoped to sell them as a single package.“We’d like to find one buyer for the properties,” Paulette Koch said at the time. “The buyer could live in the (Middle Road house) while the new home is being constructed” on the site of the outdated Buffetts house, which was built in 1924.

The Koches’ marketing strategy raised eyebrows among some real estate observers who said, privately, that the property would have been easier to sell in pieces.

And who knows? That could still happen, if the buyer – whoever that might be – builds a new oceanfront house and then decides to sell the landlocked one on Middle Road. The latter, by the way, is Tre Fontane, which completed in 1926 and used by its architect — noted society architect Marion Sims Wyeth – as his own home for 15 years. Wyeth also designed the old Buffet house.

Team Koch is keeping mum about the upcoming sale, so there’s no word on the identity of the buyer, his or her real estate agent or when the deal will close.

And how did Stryker, whose grandfather invented the adjustable hospital bed, end up with two Wyeth houses in the first place? It’s one of those this-must-be-Palm-Beach sort of stories: “When I heard that the Buffett were going to sell (their home), I was afraid someone would build a gigantic house there and I’d have a construction site in front of me,” Stryker told the Shiny Sheet in December.

So in 2010, he did what anyone in his position might do: He plunked down $18.5 million for the house, in the process expanding his property by 1.6 acres, according to courthouse records.Problem solved.


Source: Darrell Hofheinz, April 4, 2014, Palm Beach Daily News

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