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Sizable lakefront estate brings $16.5 million on North End

Posted On: 11-02-2016

By Darrell Hofheinz

Daily News Real Estate Writer

A lakeside property on the far North End of Palm Beach with 170 feet of waterfront and a deepwater yacht slip has sold for more than $16 million.

Members of the Whitesell family sold their house to a limited liability company named after the property’s address, 400 Caribbean Road, for $16.465 million, according to the deed recorded today by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office. The estate had been priced at $23 million — likely reflecting the value of its 1970 house — but the property apparently sold for the value of its land, judging from the price logged at the courthouse. No one involved is commenting about specifics of the deal, so the terms of the sales contract remain undisclosed.

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Measuring three-quarters of an acre, the irregularly shaped lot lies several houses south of the inlet at the point where the terrain extends slightly westward into the Lake Worth lagoon.

The buyer’s company was registered with the state Oct. 13 and is managed by Palm Beach real estate attorney M. Timothy Hanlon. No other information about the buyer or future plans for the property were immediately available.

The house was once owned by a trust associated with conservative radio firebrand Rush Limbaugh, who has an oceanfront home nearby. After their 2004 divorce, his third ex-wife, Marta Maranda, took ownership — to a trust in her name — of the house and a property next door via a 2005 deed transfer for $9 million.

A year later, Maranda’s trust sold both properties to the Whitesell family of New Jersey for $12.5 million. The family sold the lot next door more than three years ago for about $8 million, property records show.

The estate that just changed hands has two docks, three boat lifts and a slip deep enough to accommodate a large vessel, according to the sales listing prepared by agent Suzanne Frisbie of the Corcoran Group for the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

Agent Betsey Hall of Hall Real Estate acted on the buyer’s side of the sale. She and Hanlon declined to comment.

Frisbie said the “buyer and seller are very happy” with the transaction but had no further comment.

Palm Beach property shoppers for several years during and immediately after the recession faced a shortage of large estates for sale on the North End’s lakefront, a scenario especially frustrating for boaters looking for deepwater dockage. That situation appears to be easing: The local multiple listing service this week showed at least six North End lakefront properties for sale at prices ranging from $8.995 million to $36.5 million. Farther south near the Estate Section, Everglades Island has become a real estate hot spot for buyers seeking lake views and the option of docking smaller vessels.

Sellers have New Jersey ties

The family that sold the house is headed by Deborah and Thomas R. Whitesell of Whitesell Construction Co. in Delran, N.J. But the house was owned and sold by their children, Evan Whitesell-Heitzman, Tracey E. Whitesell and James K. Whitesell, courthouse records show.

The Whitesell family business develops, owns and manages commercial real estate projects in southern New Jersey and southern Pennsylvania, according to its website.

The family sold the vacant lot next door at 318 Caribbean Road in February 2013. In that private deal, agent Crista Ryan of Tina Fanjul Associates represented the buyer, a limited liability company linked in courthouse records to a North End house owned by Luis and Lillian Fernandez.

After the Whitesell family bought the Caribbean Road properties via a single transaction in 2006, they shaved off a fourth of an acre from No. 318 and used it for a guest house at No. 400. The family also demolished a house at No. 318 and sold the wedge-shaped lot as vacant land; the lot measured more than three-quarters of an acre with 126 feet of water frontage.

Limbaugh’s RH Trust had paid $9 million for both Caribbean Road properties in 2003, courthouse records show.




Source: Darrell Hofheinz, November 2, 2016, Palm Beach Daily News

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