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Updated: Builder buys Everglades Island lot for $8.37 million

Posted On: 04-07-2015

By Darrell Hofheinz

Daily News Real Estate Writer

A company affiliated with luxury homebuilder Malasky Homes has paid a recorded $8.37 million for a half-acre vacant lot on the northeast tip of Everglades Island. With sea walls on two sides, the lot has about 315 feet of water frontage.

Malasky Homes used a limited liability company named 488 Island Drive LLC to buy the lot at that address from a Swiss entity affiliated with Gertrud Turklitz of Appenzell, Switzerland. Her name also is attached to a 1959 house immediately west at 482 Island Drive, which used the lot as a side lawn and isn’t for sale in the local multiple listing service.

The deed was recorded Monday, although the sale closed March 23, according to MLS records. Two days after the closing, the Architectural Commission directed architect Roger Janssen of Dailey Janssen Architects to make major revisions to the plans for a West Indies-style house planned for the lot. The board is expected to review those changes at an upcoming meeting.

The property looks directly across a lagoon facing the Everglades Club to homes at the west end of Worth Avenue. The lot also offers views of the Intracoastal Waterway and downtown West Palm Beach.

Listing broker Christian J. Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate declined to comment on the deal. He had represented the seller for several years, and once marketed the lot and the house together at $34 million. About two years ago, he listed the lot separately. It landed under contract in February, priced at $9.975 million, according to Angle’s entry in the local multiple listing service.

Don Malasky, who heads his family’s West Palm Beach firm, declined to comment about the purchase or the house planned for the lot. His son, Stephen P. Malasky of Malasky Realty, handled the buyer’s end of the sale, according to MLS records.

Turklitz and her late husband, Arno, paid a recorded $1.4 million for the lot in 1993, a year after they bought the house next door for $3.45 million, property records show.

In a 2012 Daily News article about the property, the couple’s son, Achim Turklitz, said his father wanted to protect their home’s vistas by buying the lot. Achim Turklitz and other family members lately had used the house for holidays, he told the newspaper, because his elderly mother was no longer able to travel abroad.

‘Unique opportunity’

For last month’s Architectural Review meeting, house plans for the lot were submitted under the name of the seller’s ownership company, Gertrud Turklitz 482 Island Drive AG, rather than under the buyer’s name. That’s not unusual when a property is in play on a lot ripe for redevelopment, because architectural plans are often prepared in advance of the sale.

Defending his design before a skeptical board, Janssen said his roughly L-shaped house’s irregular roofline reflected a layout where rooms were positioned to take advantage of the property’s extraordinary views. His design included a second-floor master suite with an outdoor loggia below it. Both would capture views to the east, northeast and northwest.

The roofline and the footprint, Janssen said, would give the house “a very intriguing silhouette.”

But commissioners disagreed, arguing that the house appeared to ramble and needed streamlining. Commissioner Richard Sammons, who also is building himself a house on Everglades Island, called Janssen’s layout “chaotic” and “hyperactive.” He said the West Indies style of the architecture did not “link” visually to the Mediterranean-style houses across the lagoon or to the nearby Everglades Club building.

Chairman Bob Vila, who has a home on Island Drive, agreed with Sammons that the lot’s location made it special and any house built there should be equally special.

“This is a unique opportunity on the north end of Everglades Island to create something that’s ‘of a piece’ with that lagoon,” Vila said. “I always feel that waterfront property needs to be designed not just from the perspective of the people living in it, but from the perspective of the people using the water and looking at it.”

Other Malasky projects

Malasky Homes has built and developed homes on Palm Beach for two decades, often on speculation. Angle has one such project — a British Colonial-style house with more than 11,460 total square feet at 301 Maddock Way — under contract, according to its listing in the MLS. That house is nearing completion and is listed at $12.95 million.

Another Malasky house is under construction at 264 Country Club Lane with 4,900 total square feet. Priced at $5.595 million, it’s listed for sale by agent Judge Moss of Sotheby’s International Realty.

The company has sold four other “spec” properties on the island in the past four years, records show.


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

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