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UPDATED: Bristol luxury condo breaks ground on Flagler Drive

Posted On: 05-13-2016

By Darrell Hofheinz

Daily News Real Estate Writer

It’s all about the percentages at The Bristol, the super-luxury condominium that held its official ground-breaking today on the site of the old Chapel-by-the Lake on Flagler Drive, just south of the Royal Park Bridge to Palm Beach.

“We are 40 percent sold. That’s real, ‘hard’ contracts from viable buyers, not including developer-bought units,” said Douglas Elliman agent and Million Dollar Listing Miami star Chris Leavitt, head of sales for the project.

In all, $210 million worth of pre-construction contracts have been inked, for which buyers were required to put down 20 percent in advance, Leavitt said. Another 20 percent was due today, he added, now that ground has been broken for the 69-unit, 25-story building at 1100 S. Flagler Drive. Apartments are priced from $5 million to $22 million, and the project — estimated to cost $250 million — could be completed in two years to 28 months, Leavitt said.

“We have a large percentage of buyers from Palm Beach,” Leavitt added, although he declined to provide specific numbers. “People are also coming down from the north, but (just about) everyone who is buying has a tie to Palm Beach.”

He also mentioned interest from at least one international buyer.

Those who have signed contracts, he said, were looking for a product like The Bristol “but couldn’t find it elsewhere — the ceiling heights, the floor-to-ceiling glass, the amenities — and it’s fresh and new.”

That was exactly the case with two buyers represented by Linda A. Gary Real Estate, who signed on for units in the range of $9 million to $10 million, broker Linda Gary said.

“It gives the buyers what they want. It’s new, it’s contemporary and it has the views — and we don’t have that in Palm Beach,” she said.

The building will provide its residents another amenity as well. “We’re going to offer them nothing but service, service, service,” developer Al Adelson of Palm Beach Gardens told the Daily News in March 2015, shortly after the project won final approval from the city of West Palm Beach.

At the ceremonial ground-breaking and luncheon, held inside an air-conditioned tent on the property, West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio told attendees that The Bristol embodies “the new West Palm Beach — more sophisticated, more modern,” as she described it.

Two penthouses left

Of the six penthouses on the top three floors, four units are already spoken for. The two remaining include a five-bedroom apartment with 8,377 square feet, priced at $22 million; and an $18 million, four-bedroom unit with 6,100 square feet and a floor plan flexible enough to accommodate a fifth bedroom, Leavitt added.

Those paying $5 million would get a three-bedroom unit of around 3,600 square feet on a low- to mid-level floor – although the first four floors are devoted to parking, the lobby and white-glove amenities, including a lavishly equipped spa with separate whirlpools and massage rooms for men and women.

All of the apartments slice through the building from east to west, ensuring views on one side of the Lake Worth Lagoon, Palm Beach and the ocean with vistas of West Palm Beach on the other.

Sparking interest in the project was the opening of the building’s sales center at the end of February on the first floor of the UBS Building at 440 Royal Palm Way. That the developers chose a location in Palm Beach came as no surprise, considering the market at hand.

The sales center was decorated by Amir Khamneipur, the same designer who will be handling the building’s interiors. Drenched in white marble and boasting high ceilings, the center offers an idea of what The Bristol’s lobby will look like. There’s also a sample kitchen and bathroom, the latter including a free-standing soaking tub positioned in front of faux windows backed by a photographic aerial mural of Palm Beach. The photo includes the Town Docks directly opposite The Bristol’s 3.24-acre site, which was cleared last year.

A sales team headed by Douglas Elliman agent Tim Harris is handling day-to-day operations at the center.

Brisk sales pace

Leavitt has been involved with the project for several years. The development team includes Adelson and Eugene Golub, founder of the Chicago powerhouse development firm Golub & Co. Also involved is real estate developer and investor Jack Azout of Elion Partners in Aventura. The developers have not yet chosen which apartments they will buy, said Leavitt.

Leavitt says the developers have put behind them the controversy surrounding the project, which sparked concerns about the building’s size, height and location, as well as the way it earned city approval.

“We had a lot of obstacles, and we got through them. We’re a tough group,” he said.

Meanwhile, he and his Douglas Elliman sales team have been busy. “We’re selling one or two (apartments) a week. I think we’ll be sold out by the end of next season,” he said.

There doesn’t seem to be any reason at this point to doubt him. The dollar amount sold is up 68 percent since early February, when developer Adelson told Palm Beach Post writer Alexandra Clough that $125 million was under contract.

 

 

 

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, May 13, 2016, Palm Beach Daily News

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