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Two home sales closer than deeds suggest, sources say

Posted On: 05-07-2015

By Darrell Hofheinz Daily News Staff Writer

Longtime Palm Beacher Ellen M. Cunningham, who last week sold her home at 353 El Brillo Way for a recorded $15.5 million, has bought a house nearby, according to courthouse records.

But as is sometimes the case in Palm Beach, the transaction was a little more involved than what the paperwork might indicate.

A deed recorded April 29 — with a price of $4.925 million — lists Cunningham as the new owner of 40 Middle Road in the Estate Section. Built in 1962, the four-bedroom house had been listed for sale in late February by agent Betsey Hall of Hall Real Estate at $5.295 million. The deed shows Cunningham bought it from several trustees of a revocable trust in the name of Joan Z. Allen.

The house has nearly 4,700 square feet of living space, inside and out, according to Hall’s listing in the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

The MLS record of the closed deal lists broker Bob Jackson of Bob Jackson Inc. on the buyer’s side. He and Hall aren’t commenting, but reliable sources confirm that broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates was involved as well. Moens isn’t talking, either.

Moens was the listing agent for Cunningham’s home on El Brillo Way and handled the buyer’s side of its sale to a limited liability company named after that property’s address. Other than a West Palm Beach attorney, no one is linked to that company in state business records. But multiple sources confirm the company is associated with real estate developer Eduard de Guardiola, a Palm Beacher and CEO of Atlanta-based Vista Realty Partners.

And word on the street is that de Guardiola, represented by Jackson, had his eye on the Middle Road house and had put it under contract shortly after it entered the market. But Moens, known for his out-of-the-box deals, ended up putting together one that transferred the contract to Cunningham while deeding her lakeside house on El Brillo Way to the de Guardiola-linked company. The deeds for both sales recorded within a couple of days of each other, records show.

Moens, by the way, last month listed for $7.45 million the new six-bedroom house de Guardiola owns with his wife, Melissa G. Bridgers de Guardiola, at 342 Garden Road, according to MLS records. On the southeast corner of North Lake Way, it has 6,315 square feet of living space and was completed this year.

Neither Cunningham nor the de Guardiolas could be reached this week.


Source: Darrell Hofheinz, May 7, 2015, Palm Beach Daily News

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