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Subdivision of Trump’s former estate all but a done deal

Posted On: 08-25-2016

By Darrell Hofheinz

Daily News Real Estate Writer

In a town where oceanfront land commands a premium, Palm Beach soon will get three new buildable — and pricey — lots on the stretch of beachfront sometimes referred to as the North End’s Billionaires Row.

The Town Council on Tuesday gave conditional approval to subdivide 6.26 acres at 515 N. County Road into three lots of about the same size. Stretching from the sea to the road, each parcel will have around 150 feet of beachfront.

Russian fertilizer billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev used a limited liability company to buy the property and its 1980s-era mansion with 11 bedrooms for a recorded $95 million in 2008. The seller was real estate mogul Donald Trump, today the Republican presidential nominee, who consistently has said that $100 million actually changed hands in the record-setting deal.

> PHOTOS: Donald Trump's former estate at 515 N. County Road 

The soon-to-be-vacant lots are being marketed for sale privately by broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates, his office confirmed. A demolition is underway and should be completed the first week of September, real estate attorney Maura Ziska, representing the property owner, told the council. After that, officials unanimously agreed, the town will sign off on the subdivision. In all, the buildings on the estate had 80,000 total square feet, including a 32,000-square-foot unfinished basement.

> Donald Trump’s $95M record-setter turns out to be a tear-down

Moens couldn’t be reached, and the asking price of the lots isn’t yet available. But several real estate observers said a price of around $40 million for each would not surprise them. That figure would take into account the previous sales price and the state of the island’s real estate market, where the number of high-end waterfront properties for sale is higher than it has been in years.

The North County Road property sits about a half-mile south of the Palm Beach Country Club and is next door to Montsorrel, the home of billionaire deal-maker Nelson Peltz and his wife, Claudia.

The decision capped a process that began several months ago with various requests to the town.

“We’ve met all the requirements for the creation of a subdivision,” Ziska told officials.

Previously subdivided

This isn’t the first time that the estate at No. 515 has been subdivided, although nothing came of the initial re-platting more than 50 years ago. The surrounding area is dotted with similar subdivisions named for the grand 1920s estates that were carved into pieces, including Los Incas, El Mirasol and Casa Bendita, to name a few.

> Too young to tear down? Not in Palm Beach

In 1964, oilman Charles Wrightsman and his socialite wife, Jayne, subdivided — at least on paper — their estate, Blythedunes, which dated to 1917. The Wrightsmans platted nine lots — three on the ocean and six between them and North County Road, according to Palm Beach County property records. The cul-de-sac subdivision, named Reef Estates, was never redeveloped as individual properties, and last spring, the Town Council agreed to abandon the Wrightsman plan for the neighborhood.

In 1985, Jayne Wrightsman sold the property — with its mansion and land intact — to retail mogul Leslie Wexner. The property had been in the Wrightsman family since 1947.

Wexner immediately demolished Blythedunes and began building a new house before selling the estate in 1988 to the late Abe Gosman, whose fortune stemmed from nursing homes. He finished the house Wexner had started, but Gosman eventually lost it in a bankruptcy auction to Trump, who paid about $41 million for it.

Trump renovated and then sold the property to Rybolovlev’s company, County Road Holdings LLC, in what still stands as the island’s biggest-dollar single buyer/single seller house sale. Moens represented Trump in the deal opposite agent Carol Digges of Brown Harris Stevens.

> Donald Trump in Palm Beach: News, photos and features

> PHOTOS: Donald Trump's Palm Beach home Mar-a-Lago

Rybolovlev, who reportedly never lived at the property, in March won town approval to demolish his estate. Demolition permits were issued early last month.

So far, several outbuildings have been razed. But the main house was still standing Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, August 25, 2016, Palm Beach Daily News

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