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Want to get a glimpse at Billionaires Row estates? Now is the time

Posted On: 10-13-2017

If you’ve ever wanted to see what some of the mansions in Palm Beach actually look like, now’s your chance — and you can thank the winds of Hurricane Irma for your view.

The storm thinned privacy hedges, snapped branches and toppled trees when it sent strong tropical-force-plus winds onto the island Sept. 10.

During the weeks since, landscape crews have been busy cutting back vegetation even more — sawing trunks, cutting branches and pruning to salvage trees, preserve plants and clear out dead vegetation burned by wind and saltwater.

The result is that many mansions usually obscured from view can be seen from the street.

That’s certainly the case immediately south of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago on the stretch of South Ocean Boulevard known to locals as Billionaires Row, where many estates have lush perimeter landscaping. At 1255 S. Ocean Blvd., for instance, discount-brokerage billionaire Thomas Peterffy lost at least one old-growth tree on his lakeside estate amid the landscape damage.

Drivers on the coastal road are noticing that the suddenly sparser landscaping delivers a better view of La Billucia. The landmarked residence at 1200 S. Ocean Blvd. — designed by noted society architect Addison Mizner — was renovated by billionaire real estate investor and developer Jeff Greene.

And it’s now possible to peer through the normally thick-and-tall sea-grape hedges fronting Jim Clark’s landmarked Il Palmetto estate at 1500 S. Ocean Blvd. The Netscape co-founder’s landmarked ocean-to-lake estate on Widener’s Curve is on the market for $115 million through Sotheby’s International Realty.

Drivers might think they’re getting a better glimpse of casino-and-resort magnate Steve Wynn’s lakefront property at 1350 S. Ocean Blvd., a 2.3-acre parcel priced at $24.5 million by Lawrence A. Moens Associates. But a few years ago, the property — with its restored vintage boathouse — became viewable from the road when several outbuildings were taken down.

On the other side of the street at 1295 S. Ocean Blvd., the coral keystone walls of theatrical producer and heiress Terry Allen Kramer’s beachfront estate immediately to the north have come into view for the first time in years.

But Irma isn’t really responsible for the Kramer home’s re-appearance. That’s because construction and landscape crews have been busy clearing parts of 11.5 oceanfront acres immediately to the south in anticipation of Chicago hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin’s planned house, the ground level of which will measure 36,000 square feet in addition to a 23,000-square-foot service basement. Stretching longer than a football field, the one-story house will rise on part of Griffin’s property at 1265 S. Ocean Blvd.

The recent site work included razing two houses and has left a shopping-center-size swatch of vacant beachfront — 875 feet on the water in all – along South Ocean Boulevard and nearby Blossom Way. The cleared land has brought Kramer’s mansion into view.

Some trees and other landscaping on the Griffin estate suffered damage, including windburn, from the storm, and their branches nearest South Ocean Boulevard have been sharply pruned. But old-growth specimen trees weathered Irma without difficulty, according to a source familiar with the property.

And some 250 trees and palms had already been moved off the property to protect them during construction, as town officials learned during the house’s approval process. The removal of those trees, along with some wind damage to upper branches in the remaining trees, has pretty much eliminated the foliage canopy that once sheltered Blossom Way. The trees will be brought back and replanted, along with new ones, at some point in the future to restore the canopy, according to the landscape plan.

Meanwhile, the previously hidden facade of one of the two houses Griffin doesn’t own on Blossom Way now greets drivers, thanks to a thinner landscape. Former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank H. McCourt Jr. paid $77 million for that property, at 60 Blossom Way, in April.

The good news for Palm Beach homeowners overall is that there were few if any reports of structural damage related to the storm.

And as town crews and contractors prepare to finish hauling away  debris, Mother Nature, is already back on the job restoring the island’s famous greenery. In Palm Beach, as many a homeowner has learned, she tends to work very, very fast.

So scope out any views while you can.

 

 

 

 

Source: Darrell Hofheinz, October 13, 2017, Palm Beach Daily News

 

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Zimmerman Douglas Elliman

340 Royal Poinciana Way, Suite 318
Palm Beach, FL 33480

Jacqueline A. Zimmerman (561) 906-7153 Direct jz@PalmBeachProperty.com

Adam M. Zimmerman (561) 906-7152 Direct az@PalmBeachProperty.com

(561) 655-8600 Main Office

 
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Jacqueline A. Zimmerman(561) 906-7153pAdam M. Zimmerman(561) 906-7152pMain Office(561) 655-8600
Douglas Elliman, Licensed Real Estate Broker | 340 Royal Poinciana Way, Suite 318, Palm Beach, FL 33480


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