5 housing developments in the pipeline in Palm Beach Gardens


Space between homes in the new Alton community in Palm Beach Gardens on October 25, 2017. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)


New estimates show that Palm Beach County’s population growth has slowed down, but there’s more to come in Palm Beach Gardens.

RELATED: Independent living facility proposed on RCA Boulevard in Gardens

The next phase of houses in Kolter’s Alton is under construction on Hood Road. So are the townhouses in Kennedy Homes’ Trevi Isle just down the street. That doesn’t take into account more than 3,000 homes yet to be built in Landstar Development Group’s Avenir on the west end of Northlake Boulevard.

Here are five development projects to watch in Palm Beach Gardens.

Alton: This massive Kolter build is between Hood and Donald Ross roads. In May 2017, the Palm Beach Gardens City Council approved a site plan for 316 single-family homes and 199 townhouses, which are under construction. The new phase of development is on the north side of Hood Road, just south of Alton’s first neighborhood by The Benjamin School.

The 360 houses in the first neighborhood range in price from the high $500,00s to more than $1 million.

Alton will have 1,400 houses and 353 apartments when it’s finished.

The Town Center, 192,778 square feet of retail and commercial space on 28 acres, is also under construction. Alton is on what was known as the Briger tract.

Trevi Isle: Kennedy Homes is building 50 townhouses on 12.4 acres on the north side of Hood Road, a short distance from Alton. The enclave of three- and four-bedroom luxury townhouses between Eastpointe Country Club and Florida’s Turnpike is called Trevi Isle. The houses are priced from the low $400,000s, according to Kennedy Homes.

Avenir: Moving south to Northlake Boulevard, Landstar Development Group is building Avenir, which will be the size of a small municipality.

There will be 3,900 homes, including 250 for workforce housing and 960 age-restricted homes for people 55 and older. Workforce housing is priced so that people such as police officers, firefighters, teachers and home health care aides can afford it.

In 2016, the City Council approved a plan that called for 3,250 homes. The developer asked for and received a change that increased the number of homes and decreased the office space to 1.8 million square feet from 1.9 million square feet.

As approved, the plan also calls for 200,000 square feet of medical offices, 400,000 square feet of commercial space, a 300-room hotel, 20 acres of agriculture, a 55-acre public park, a 60-acre civic/recreation parcel, 15 acres for a police/fire/city annex and 15 acres for a public school.

About 2,400 acres on the property’s north end will be conserved.

Ancient Tree: PulteGroup last year paid $12 million for 97 acres between Avenir and the city’s Sandhill Crane Golf Club. PulteGroup’s DiVosta brand is building 97 single-family homes on the former Balsamo property. Prices for the three- to five-bedroom houses will start in the $600,000s.

Pointe Midtown: The new Earth Fare grocery store is open in Midtown, but construction is far from over. Ascend Properties is building 63 townhouses on the north side of the store on PGA Boulevard just west of Military Trail. The three- and four-bedroom houses will be called Pointe Midtown. Prices start in the high $400,000s and go up to the high $500,000s.

More to come: Other development has been proposed but not yet approved. This includes the 220 independent living apartments for seniors on the Amara Shrine Center property on RCA Boulevard, 27 houses on the former Bonnette Hunt Club site and 263 luxury apartments and townhouses geared for young professionals between Military Trail and Central Boulevard.

A residential tower in Downtown at the Gardens and luxury apartments at the former Loehmann’s Plaza have been discussed but not yet proposed.

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West Palm Beach schools welcome three new principals

NEW LEADERS: New principals, Eli Morales, Okeeheelee Middle School, Corey Brooks, William T. Dwyer High School, Shari Bremekamp, Hidden Oaks Elementary are taking over new leadership positions.


Staff Report

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – As the school year inches towards its end, three new principals have been named to West Palm Beach schools and are gearing up for the summer and fall semesters. At the school board meeting on May 9, Shari Bremekamp was introduced as principal of Hidden Oaks Elementary School, Corey Brooks as principal of William T. Dwyer High School, and Eli Morales as principal at Okeeheelee Middle School.

As the former principal at Cypress Trails Elementary, Bremekamp was excited at the prospect of leading Hidden Oaks, the District’s first K-8 STEAM school (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) She enthusiastically told the School Board that “it will be my mission to motivate, encourage, inspire, and drive towards continuous academic improvement and to the social emotional well-being of all of our children.”

Brooks had been the principal at John F. Kennedy Middle for nine years, a school he attended as a student years ago. Brooks is the son of an educator, mentioning that his mother has been a teacher for 38 years, 28 of which have been in Palm Beach County.

He shared some words of wisdom from his mother, that “you have the best job in the world, you get to shape, and manage, and just do wonderful things for kids and for staff.” In that spirit, Brooks pledged that “I will do my best as a servant leader.”

Morales takes over at Okeeheelee Middle, moving from her previous position as the principal at Highland Elementary. At the Board Meeting, she credited her parents who emigrated to the U.S., stating that she stands on their shoulders, and her success is due to their sacrifice. “This journey isn’t about me, it’s about the children of Palm Beach County,” she said. “I take this position to heart, I’m so excited to have this opportunity.”

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More than 500 jobs available at West Palm Beach job fair Wednesday

Job seekers wait inline to enter a job fair in Sunrise. (Sun Sentinel)

More than 500 jobs will be available at a job fair Wednesday in West Palm Beach, according to organizer Job News USA..

The job fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Marriott West Palm Beach, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd.

Participating employers include Morse Life Health System, G4S Secure Solutions, Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Hotwire Communications, Sherwin Williams, LRP Publications, Verizon and Vi at Lakeside Village senior community.

Jobs available include licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, houskeepers, security officers, paramedics, customer serviced representatives, food servers, telecom service technicians, delivery drivers, marketing coordinators and more.

See more information about the jobs available at jobnewsusa.com. Register at the door or online at http://bit.ly/REGISTERwpb.

mpounds@sunsentinel.com or 561-243-6650, twitter: @marciabiz

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Brightline train service to silence horns in West Palm Beach

Starting Tuesday, the Brightline higher-speed trains no longer will be routinely sounding their horns at West Palm Beach crossings.

And it’s only the start: The trains are expected to go quiet at other crossings across the tri-county area, bringing relief for South Floridians who live near the coastal tracks that run by U.S. 1.

Brightline, a passenger service that opened to the public Jan. 13, has upgraded crossings with safety features, making the crossings eligible to become quiet zones. They’re areas with enough safety features for trains to pass without sounding their horns.

The original plan was to have the zones in place before the Brightline service began, but that didn’t materialize. Months after the start of the service, cities and town are readying for them to take effect.

West Palm Beach held a news conference Monday to say that the city’s quiet zone was being enacted at 11:59 p.m. Monday, along its stretch of the Florida East Coast Railway tracks. Signs that say ‘no train horn,’ in addition to other safety-measures, were installed at intersections from 15th Street to West Palm Beach’s southern boundary line, Mayor Jeri Muoio said Monday.

Under certain circumstances, the horns still will be sounded. “If there’s an emergency, the engineer has full authority to blow the horn,” said Ali Soule, public affairs director for Brightline. Trains are allowed to sound their horns when they approach or leave the station.

Brightline paid for construction upgrades at close to 200 intersections along its route, Soule said. Cities had to provide additional zones that ranged from $8 million to $10 million, she said.

Among the improvements have been more road and sidewalk gates, as well as signs, bells, flashing lights and raised curbs and medians.

Following West Palm Beach, the quiet zones are expected to start in Lake Worth on May 21, Soule said. And Boca Raton, which has 10 intersections where 24-hour quiet zones, could be established about May 30, according to a letter from the city to Brightline and others.

Meanwhile, Boynton could take longer. “Boynton Beach requested additional infrastructure so they’re two or three months behind,” Soule said.

West Palm Beach also announced a public safety campaign Monday. “I’m concerned about safety with no horns,” Muoio said. “If you see tracks, think train.”

Soule said, “You should never cross unless you know you have room to cross.”

The Brightline service runs from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale. Service to Miami will begin Saturday with discounted fares system-wide.

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Palm Beach real estate: What were the season’s biggest sales?

The home of the late Discount Tire billionaire Bruce T. Halle and his wife, Diane, sold in March for a recorded $39.4 million at 1473 N. Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach. Photo by Lifestyle Production Group, courtesy Sotheby’s International Realty

The season that just ended saw Palm Beach homebuyers and sellers inking contracts at a dizzying pace, a sea change from the same eight-month period last year.

And real estate watchers whose eyes were trained on the top of the market likely found their heads swimming as they tried to keep track of all the digits in the sales prices recorded with the deeds.

Here’s a look at the single family properties that sold between Oct. 1 and May 1 at recorded prices above $17 million. There were a dozen of those deals this season, compared to just seven for the same period 12 months ago.

And proving that waterfront land never goes out of style, the list includes several vacant lots as well as houses slated for demolition.

The listing also includes the top six condominium sales, each sold at a price topping $6 million.

Unless otherwise noted, quoted are the ones recorded by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.



$39 million— 1473 N. Ocean Blvd.: The biggest single-family sale involved the North End oceanfront vacation estate of Diane Halle and her late husband, Discount Tire billionaire Bruce Halle, who died Jan. 4. The buyers in the March sale were investment entrepreneurs William C. Powers and Marianne Elaine Elmasri. With a total of 17,804 square feet, the house, built in 1960, and guesthouse, added in 1972, have four bedrooms each. They stand on a lot of nearly 2 acres with 156 feet of ocean frontage. Listing agents Cristina Condon and Todd F. Peter of Sotheby’s International Realty negotiated opposite broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate, who acted for the buyers.

+ The home of the late Discount Tire billionaire Bruce T. Halle and his wife, Diane, sold in March for a recorded

… read more


$37.375 million — 1800 S. Ocean Blvd.: On Billionaires Row, the ocean-to-lake estate socialite Mary Montgomery shared with her late husband, attorney Robert M. Montgomery Jr., sold in April to a buyer whose identity remains cloaked behind a Florida limited liability company named after the property’s address. The town already has green-lighted the demolition of the Mediterranean-style mansion and outbuildings, which have 26,351 total square feet. The 2½-acre property has 300 feet of beachfront and nearly the same amount of frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway. The estate was technically listed with broker Bill Yahn of the Corcoran Group because agent Jim McCann, who closed the deal, had the listing there before he left for Premier Estate Properties. Brown Harris Stevens agents A. Whitney McGurk and Liza Pulitzer represented the buyer in the sale.

+ Mary Montgomery’s home at 1800 S. Ocean Blvd. sold in April for $37.375 million, the price recorded with the deed. The


$37 million — 535 N. County Road:The second of three lots subdivided from an oceanfront estate once owned by President Donald Trump changed hands in October for $37 million. The 2-acre vacant lot is the northernmost of the lots carved from the estate that Trump sold for a recorded $95 million in 2008 to a company linked to businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev. A Rybolovlev family trust controls the limited liability company that sold the property in this season’s deal to an entity affiliated with Boca Raton-based luxury homebuilder Mark Pulte of Mark Timothy Inc. In March, Pulte won the town’s approval to built a contemporary-style house on the lot. Broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates handled both sides of the sale in October.

+ The Architectural Commission has granted approval for this contemporary house to be built at 535 N. County Road on land once


$29.14 million — 901 N. Ocean Blvd.:This 2.3-acre oceanfront estate immediately north of the Palm Beach Country Club sold as two separate lots for $14.57 million each in simultaneous transactions in December. Developer Pat Carney spearheaded both deals and bought the northernmost lot, since re-addressed as 905 N. Ocean Blvd., where he and his wife, Lillian, plan to build a home for their use. An entity affiliated with real estate developer Clark Beaty bought the other lot, where Beaty has struggled to win the Architectural Commission’s approval for a house he wants to build on speculation; a number of neighbors say the project should be scaled down. The land was sold by a trust in the name of the late Lorraine Friedman, who had lived there in a 1970s-era compound with her late husband, Jack. The buildings were demolished before the sale closed. Agent Jim McCann — then of the Corcoran Group but today with Premier Estate Properties — handled both sales.

+ In December, two oceanfront lots at 901 and 905 N. Ocean Boulevard sold for $14.57 million each in simultaneous transactions.


$23.8 million — 735 Island Drive: A Florida limited liability company in October paid a recorded $23.8 million for a house at 735 Island Drive. The Everglades Island property was sold by an entity affiliated with the estate of the late Stephen Ames, who built the house with his wife, Ann. The seven-bedroom, 11,775-square foot house was co-listed by agents Mary Boykin and Crissy Poorman of Sotheby’s International Realty. Linda Gary of Linda A. Gary Real Estate represented the buyer.

+ In October, a Florida limited liability company named Ocean Island One paid a recorded $23.8 million for this Georgian-style house at


$22.25 million— 726 Hi-Mount Road: Investments executive Jeffrey B. Lane and his wife, Nancy, in January sold their Colonial-style, four-bedroom house — with 150 feet of Intracoastal Waterway frontage — on the street with the highest elevation in town. The buyer of the 10,442-square-foot house was a Boca Raton-based limited liability company co-managed by Irina Liner and Marcel Van Poecke, an entrepreneur and asset manager in the energy industry. The town green-lighted the house’s demolition before the sale. Broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates had the listing, while agent Crista Ryan of Tina Fanjul Associates represented the buyer.

+ Changing hands for $22.25 million in January, a house at 726 Hi-Mount Road stands on one of the highest points in


$21.355 million— 1460 N. Lake Way: Former Town Council President David Rosow and his wife, Jeanne, in April sold their North End custom home, which stands on three-quarters of an acre with 160 feet of lakefront. P.W. Starret paid a recorded $21.355 million for the property, the deed showed. Completed in 2005 with a later garage addition, the five-bedroom house has 15,613 square feet of living space, inside and out. Broker Christian J. Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate had the listing. Brown Harris Stevens agent Ashley Copeland represented the buyer.

+ Built by David and Jeanne Rosow and sold in April for $21.355 million, this five-bedroom house at 1460 N. Lake Way


$20.5 million— 460 Worth Ave.: Karl Heinz and Marianne Andresen of Germany in November sold their lakefront mansion at the west end of Worth Avenue to Immohome A.G., a public limited company administered by a Liechtenstein-based trust company. Property records show that its main residence and an outbuilding have a total of 10,847 square feet. The irregularly shaped lot measures about a little more than a third of an acre with about 155 feet of lakefront. Completed in 1991, the Mediterranean-style house was not listed for sale when it sold, and no real estate agents appear to have been involved in the transaction.

+ In mid-November, a Mediterranean-style house at 460 Worth Ave. changed hands for a recorded $20.5 million, one of the sales that


$19.5 million— 1045 S. Ocean Blvd.: Michele “Shelly” Borislow sold her contemporary-style oceanfront house near President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in February for a recorded $19.5 million. She is the widow of the late communications entrepreneur Dan Borislow, who spearheaded a major renovation at the 1970-era house. Merchant banker and investment manager Lionel Kerrin Vickar bought the four-bedroom house with nearly 10,000 total square feet. The lot measures nearly an acre, including a vacant parcel on the north side. Agent Traci DeGeorge of Waterfront Properties and Club Communities represented the seller, and agent Wally Turner of Sotheby’s International Realty handled the buyer’s side.

+ Sold for $19.5 million via a deed recorded in March, a contemporary-style house at 1045 S. Ocean Blvd. faces the ocean


$19.4 million— 910 and 916 S. Ocean Blvd.: In December, two side-by-side vacant lots facing the ocean in the Estate Section changed hands separately in simultaneous transactions totaling nearly $20 million. They were sold by an entity controlled by Michigan businessman Charles “Chuck” E. Becker. Agent Jim McCann, then of the Corcoran Group, was the listing agent, with agents Martin Conroy and Dean Stokes of The Fite Group handling the buyer’s end of both sales.

An entity affiliated with Lifton Green LLC (a company in Southampton, N.Y., run by contractors and developers Bruce Lifton and Jason Green) paid $7.4 million for the northern lot at 910 S. Ocean Blvd. — and then, a month later, sold the lot to another company for $17.59 million. The buyer in the second deal was a company linked to Thomas J. Campbell, founder of DC Capital Partners, a private-equity investment firm. Conroy and Stokes represented the sellers, while Corcoran agents Brad and Pam Miller acted on behalf of the buyer. The lot changed hands both times with plans for a Mediterranean-style house approved by the town in September.

Meanwhile, the buyers of the southern lot at 916 S. Ocean Blvd. in December also did a little contractual gymnastics. When the lot sold for $12 million, the initial buyer, Lifton Green LLC, “assigned” the contract to a new owner, a company managed by Brian Stock, CEO of Stock Development, which develops luxury homes in southwest Florida. In April, the Architectural Commission reviewed a house proposed for the lot but asked for revisions to be presented later this month.

+ Two adjacent vacant lots at the intersection of South Ocean Boulevard and Clarendon Avenue sold in Decemeber for a combined $19.4


$18.25 million— 89 Middle Road: This landmarked seaside house designed in 1921 by noted society architect Addison Mizner sold in April to Mora Middle Investments Inc., which is headed by developer Larry Morassutti of the Morasutti Group, a Toronto real estate company. The four-bedroom house with 5,541 square feet of living space faces 150 feet of ocean frontage across South Ocean Boulevard. Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate represented the buyer and the seller, British insurance magnate and Palm Beach developer Sir Peter Wood. Audita was once part of the estate owned by the late billionaire John W. Kluge, which Wood bought in 2016 and subdivided into five vacant lots immediately west of Audita.

+ Sir Peter Wood stands on the east lawn at Audita, 89 Middle Road, in a 2016 file photo. The landmarked house


$17.68 million — 330 Island Road: In March, an entity affiliated with real estate investors Arthur F. Minerof and Lawrence Genco sold the landmarked house they completely rebuilt on Island Road, the street that connects South County Road to Everglades Island. A trust bought the six-bedroom house, with 9,795 total square feet, facing 126 feet of lakefront. Corcoran Group agents Paulette Koch and Dana Koch had the listing. Sotheby’s International Realty agents Christine Gibbons and Lisa Cregan represented the buyer. Built in 1939, the red-brick house was the longtime home of the late Standard Oil scion and conservationist Frances Archbold Hufty and her late husband, Mann Randolph Page Hufty.

+ Viewed from the Lake Worth Lagoon, a restored landmarked house at 330 Island Drive changed hands in March for a recorded



Two members of the family that founded the Hasbro toy empire were responsible for the two highest-dollar condominium sales this season. They were among six sales in multi-family buildings that recorded at more than $6 million.

$13.25 million— No. N-PH2, 2 N. Breakers Row: In December, former Hasbro CEO Alan G. Hassenfeld sold his oceanfront penthouse to his sister, Ellen Hassenfeld Block, in an off-market deal. The sales price worked out to $3,895 per square foot for the three-bedroom condo, which has 3,401 total square feet. The price was the fifth-highest ever fetched by a condo in Palm Beach — and the third-highest for a unit on the ocean. The apartment is on the northeast corner of the northern building in the two-building development, where some of the most expensive condos in town change hands. The buildings stand on beachfront property owned by The Breakers. It’s unclear whether any real estate agents were involved in the sale.

$11.5 million— No. S-24, 2 N. Breakers Row:Ellen Hassenfeld Block in April sold her longtime condo in the south building of the complex where she had bought her brother’s penthouse in December. She sold her three-bedroom unit — with 3,322 total square feet —and a pool cabana to a buyer who is likely retired investment banker Richard L. Menschel. The buyer paid $3,461 per square foot, based on sales price. Broker Cristina Condon of Sotheby’s International Realty handled both sides of the deal, which marked the fifth-most-expensive unit ever to sell at 2 N. Breakers Row.

$6.75 million— No. S-41, 2 N. Breakers Row: A company linked to textile investor Martin Trust in December bought the three-bedroom condo and a cabana in the south building from Clarke Avenue Investments Inc., a Delaware entity for which Etienne Ramos-Esteban Jr. served as president. With some ocean views, the condo has 3,243 square feet of living space, inside and on its balcony. The purchase price worked out to $2,081 per square foot. Corcoran Group agents Suzanne Frisbie, Dana Koch and Paulette Koch shared the listing. Broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens acted for the buyer. Martin Trust and his wife, Diane, own another unit at 2 N. Breakers, which they bought five years ago when they sold their Palm Beach home to shock-jock Howard Stern and his wife, Beth Ostrosky.

+ Two N. Breakers Row had three large sales this season.


$7.9 million— PH C, 425 Worth Ave.: The estate of the late Ulf L. Albert sold this four-bedroom, lakeview penthouse at The Villas to corporate-insurance specialist Peter Van Ingen in March. The co-operative unit has 6,466 square feet of living space, inside and on its wraparound terrace. Based on the total space, the buyer paid $1,223 per square foot. Broker Linda Olsson of Linda R. Olsson Inc. had the listing opposite agent Patricia Mahaney of Sotheby’s International Realty.


$7 million— Unit 614/616, 100 Worth Ave.: At the Winthrop House, this two-bedroom condo was sold in March by Linda J. and Thomas Grudovich, who had combined side-by-side apartments on the sixth floor to total 3,993 square feet. A trust paid $1,753 per square foot based on the total square footage. Broker Christine Franks of Wilshire International Realty had the listing, and agent Crista Ryan of Tina Fanjul Associates negotiated for the buyer.

+ The living room on the sixth floor at 100 Worth Ave. “Our living spaces are nice and gracious,” Tom Grudovich says


$6.7 million— 7 PHS, 3000 S. Ocean Blvd.: Toronto hedge-fund manager Anne L. Spork sold her three-bedroom penthouse and its poolside cabana at Bellaria via a deed recorded May 2. Financial executive Dexter D. Earle and his wife, Carol A. Zipkin, bought the condo, which has 7,191 total square feet of living space inside and on its balconies. In the south building of the two-building complex, the condo sold for $932 per square foot. The sale price — which didn’t include the furnishings that changed hands in the deal — set a building record. The apartment faces the ocean and also offers views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Agents John M. Campbell and Colleen Jackson Hanson, both of the Corcoran Group, had the listing. Brown Harris Stevens agents A. Whitney McGurk and Liza Pulitzer acted on behalf of the buyers.

+ With 7,191 total square feet, Penthouse 7 in the south building at Bellaria, 3000 S. Ocean Blvd., changed hands in April


$6.4 million— No. 4C, 120 Sunset Ave.: At the Leverett House — just north of The Breakers — this fourth-floor apartment sold at $1,730 per square foot, figured on the unit’s overall size of 3,700 total square feet, according to a listing updated April 30 in the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. The sellers were Ronald G. and Cindy L. McMackin, who own a pipe manufacturing business. As of press time, the buyer’ identity was unknown, because a deed for the sale had not been recorded. Broker Lawrence A. Moens handled both sides of the deal.

+ Penthouse 4-C in Leverett House’s west building at 120 Sunset Ave. just sold for a recorded $6.25 million to a couple

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Venture X co-working firm to open at Related’s CityPlace in West Palm Beach

CityPlace West Palm Beach and Tom Weber of Venture X (Credit: Venture X and CityPlace)

Another co-working concept is expanding to South Florida.

Venture X, a shared office company under the United Franchise Group umbrella, will be opening its flagship location this summer at Related Companies’ CityPlace in West Palm Beach, according to Venture X president Tom Weber.

The company has locations in Naples, Dallas, San Antonio and Toronto. At CityPlace, Venture X is leasing 14,000 square feet on the second floor of the mall at 700 Rosemary Avenue.

Gensler, which designed headquarters for Facebook and Instagram, is designing the Venture X space.

Memberships start at $40 a month, with private offices asking up to $6,000 a month, Weber said. Perks include concierge services, meeting rooms, café and lounge areas and weekly catered breakfast and lunch options. Full-time members will also have access to common areas at every Venture X location.

Venture X is planning on opening 30 additional locations in the United States by 2019. The firm is also considering opening in the Middle East, Weber said.

Related has proposed a massive overhaul of the 72-acre CityPlace property. In December, the New York development firm announced plans to knock down the former Macy’s building and replace it with 350 luxury apartments, retail and restaurants.

Other co-working companies in South Florida include WeWork, Büro , Made at the Citadel, the Lab and Pipeline.

In February, Tribe Co-Work opened its first space in Miami’s Overtown community. Open-desk memberships start at about $250 a month, and office spaces begin at about $1,000 a month.

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Melania Trump, Akie Abe tour Palm Beach landmark

First lady Melania Trump and Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, tour the Flagler Museum with museum director Erin Manning on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. (Skyler Swisher/Sun Sentinel)

First lady Melania Trump soaked in the splendor of another lavish Palm Beach mansion Wednesday.

The first lady and and her Japanese counterpart toured the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, a Palm Beach landmark about three miles from President Donald Trump’s own Mar-a-Lago estate and private club.

The 75-room, 100,000-square-foot mansion — named Whitehall — matches all of the luxuriousness of Mar-a-Lago. Whitehall’s grand entryway features seven types of marble and a 20-foot high ceiling.

When Whitehall opened in 1902, a New York City reporter wrote the Gilded Age mansion was “more wonderful than any palace in Europe.”

The first lady tweeted photos of her visit with Akie Abe, wife of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Japanese delegation is visiting Palm Beach for a two-day summit with the president.

“I enjoyed showing Mrs. Abe a timeless part of Florida’s history,” the first lady said. “Thank you to the welcoming staff of the Flagler Museum for having us, and for continuing to share Whitehall’s historic influence.”

The industrialist Henry Flagler, who played an integral role in developing Florida’s tourism industry with the Overseas Railroad, built the mansion as a wedding present for his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan Flagler. The couple wintered there from 1902 until Flagler’s death in 1913.

It cost about $4 million to build and furnish the mansion, which would equate to more than $100 million in today’s dollars.

President Donald Trump is hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie for the second time in Palm Beach. Trump has owned the Mar-a-Lago estate and private club since the 1980s. During his presidency, he has spent many weekends in South Florida during the social season, which typically ends around Easter. He also hosted the president of China in 2017.

The museum’s director Erin Manning and William Matthews, Flagler’s great-grandson, greeted Trump and Abe, and Manning led a 40-minute tour of the museum.

They saw Flagler’s private railcar that he used to travel his east coast railway that ran from Jacksonville to Key West. They learned about bicyle-powered wicker wheelchairs wealthy vacationers used to traverse Palm Beach during the early 1900s.

An organist then serenaded Trump and Abe in the mansion’s music room with a performance of “Anvil Chorus” from the opera Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi, one of Flagler’s favorite pieces. The 1,249-pipe Odell organ was one of the largest ever installed in a private home of its day.

President Donald Trump and the prime minister played golf at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach during the museum tour. The Trumps and Abes had dinner Tuesday night at Mar-a-Lago. The prime minister was in South Florida for two days of talks on North Korea and trade sanctions.

In February 2017, Melania Trump and Akie Abe toured another Palm Beach County site — the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

About 100,000 people visit the Flagler Museum annually. The first lady and Abe’s visits help to shine a positive spotlight on Palm Beach County attractions, said Ashley Svarney, a spokeswoman for the area’s tourism marketing organization Discover the Palm Beaches.

“It gave tremendous visibility to this gem that we have here in the Palm Beaches that is available for any and all to come visit and explore," Svarney said.

The Morikami Gardens saw a spike in Internet searches after Abe and Trump’s visit last year, she said.

The first lady is expected to attend former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral on Saturday, along with the Obamas and Clintons. The White House has not released whether the president plans to attend.

sswisher@sunsentinel.com, 561-243-6634 or @SkylerSwisher

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Oil chief buys office building next to JFK Medical Center in West Palm

2051 & 2151 45th Street and Augustus C. Miller (Credit: SF Partners and Smithsonian Libraries)

A medical office building next to the north campus of the JFK Medical Center in West Palm Beach just traded hands for $9.5 million, property records show.

SF Partners sold the 73,500-square-foot medical center at 2051 and 2151 45th Street to Augustus C. Miller, who heads the fuel distribution company Miller Oil. The trade breaks down to about $130 per square foot.

Records show SF Partners, a Miami-based real estate development and management firm, paid $7.8 million for the building in February 2016 – meaning it sold for a roughly 18 percent gain in two years. The building sits on about 3 acres of land, just north of the intersection of 45th Street and Congress Avenue, near downtown West Palm Beach. Tenants include a mix of physicians, therapists and other medical services.

SF Partners owns a mix of commercial properties throughout Florida and Georgia, according its website.

Late last year a similar medical office building next to the main campus of the JFK Medical Center in Atlantis traded hands for $11.25 million.

Miller Oil is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. The Millers have homes in Virginia Beach, Washington, D.C., and Palm Beach, according to published reports.

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Palm Beach life simulated: Photo center exhibits Rachel Brown’s images


Photographer Rachel Brown gained access to Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach through a member. She posed the member’s daughter at the entrance to the club’s living room. Photo courtesy of Rachel Louise Brown

Drivers passing by The Patriarca Companies building in the daytime probably wouldn’t give it a second glance.

But the unassuming structure at 175 Bradley Place in Palm Beach takes on a different personality at night when used as a backdrop for one of Rachel Brown’s photographs. Then it becomes like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, or perhaps an Edward Hopper painting.

+ Tom Dodson, who responded to Rachel Brown’s ad for volunteers to pose as characters in her photographic tableaus, said he knew

… read more

Brown posed Tom Dodson, someone she’d arranged to meet that night in the Publix parking lot, as a pedestrian frozen in the icy glow of a streetlight against the building’s facade. In front of the figure, an indented entrance throbs with red light, illuminating a door and a bonsai tree.

“The whole thing had this strange, sinister feel,” Brown said. “He turned up with that hair and very groomed. The whole thing just fit.”

The photograph is one of about 30 images Brown selected from the countless pictures she shot as an artist in residence at Palm Beach Photographic Centre in West Palm Beach. They’re on view in Simulations: Photographs by Rachel Louise Brown through April 28 at the center’s museum.

+ Photographer Rachel Brown allowed the young ballerinas at Ballet East in West Palm Beach to pose themselves. Part of her project

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Brown, who hails from Great Britain, where she’s photography director for the British editions of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country, visited the center for about two weeks each fall in 2014, 2015 and 2017. During that time, she taught classes, conducted field trips, lectured and produced a body of work.

“What I love about Rachel’s work is its ethereal quality,” said Fatima NeJame, president and chief executive officer. “It’s very different and very artistic.”

Brown is the last of the center’s artists in residence, as it’s lost its free housing for the artists and can’t afford to rent it, NeJame said.

The unease that permeates the photograph of Dodson is exactly the feeling she aimed for.

“I worked with the head space of tension to create a cinematic tableau of a place,” she said. “It’s always a place that’s unfamiliar and foreign to me.”

She added to the discomfort by frequently working at night, either alone or with a stranger who’d responded to her ad seeking models.

She was fascinated by Florida’s image as a paradise and a symbol of the American dream, a point of view that comes through in the images and the show’s title — Simulations.

“The whole thing here is how we fake reality and build environments that enhance escapism,” she said.

Brown gained access to one of Palm Beach’s most famous fantasy getaways — Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago — through a member who replied to her ad.

The member met her at the private club with her daughter, whose long blonde tresses and white dress were a perfect complement to the luminous light and gold cherubs decorating the entrance to the living room.

“Basically, what draws me is the lighting,” Brown said.

That’s one of the reasons she uses a medium-format film camera rather than a digital camera. “When you photograph on film it becomes painterly,” she said.

+ Rachel Brown shot this self-portrait in The Breakers’ Mediterranean Ballroom. Courtesy of Rachel Louise Brown

Brown used The Breakers’ Mediterranean Ballroom as the setting for the self-portrait she always shoots during an artist residency. She borrowed a long silk evening gown from The Church Mouse for the photo.

As she posed, “I imagined I was this woman who owned the dress dancing,” she said. The skirt looks like a hummingbird’s wings in the picture.

+ “This child-like fairground during the day becomes magical at night,” photographer Rachel Brown said of the carousel at the Palm Beach

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Brown didn’t confine herself to Palm Beach. Other places shot include the Palm Beach Zoo, the streets of West Palm Beach, Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds, a ballet studio in West Palm Beach and Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Spring Hill, where she captured the famous mermaid show.

The mermaid show “symbolizes everything this show is about,” Brown said. “It’s a simulated environment that’s been going on for 70 years.”

+ Florida’s long history of catering to tourists’ fantasies is embodied in Rachel Brown’s photograph of the mermaid show at Weeki Wachee

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+ Photographer Rachel Brown calls this photograph The Lobster Girl. The haunted houses at Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds were

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If You Go

What: Simulations: Photographs by Rachel Louise Brown

When: Through April 28

Where: Palm Beach Photographic Centre, 415 Clematis St., West Palm Beach

For information: Call 253-2600 or visit workshop.org or fotofusion.org

Rachel Brown will give a free talk about the exhibition 4-6 p.m. Wednesday at the photo center.

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Landmarked Mizner house sells for $18.25 million, deed shows


Sir Peter Wood stands on the east lawn at Audita, 89 Middle Road, in a 2016 file photo. Photo by Damon Higgins / Palm Beach Daily News

A landmarked seaside house designed by noted society architect Addison Mizner has sold at 89 Middle Road for $18.25 million, according to a deed recorded Monday.

A company controlled by British insurance entrepreneur and Palm Beach developer Sir Peter Wood sold the Mediterranean-style house. The four-bedroom house — known as Audita — was completed in 1921 and stands on about an acre.

Facing 150 feet of ocean frontage across South Ocean Boulevard, the two-story house stands about a mile north of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in the Estate Section. Compared to grander Mizner houses, Audita is much more intimate in scale, with 5,541 square fee of living space, inside and out.

The identity of the buyer was not immediately available Monday in the information about the sale posted on the Palm Beach County Clerk’s website.

Broker Christian J. Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate handled both sides of the sale, according to the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. Angle had the property priced at $21.9 million, down from $24.9 million, the price it carried when it entered the market in December 2016.

Wood sold the house though Middle Road LLC, a limited liability company he controls. He bought the house in April 2016 as part of a $39 million purchase of an estate assembled in the 1990s by the late communications billionaire John Kluge. The land totaled 4.3 acres.

Wood razed one of the estate’s two houses and cleared the land with the goal of creating a new subdivision.

Audita, which Kluge used as a guesthouse, was never part of Wood’s subdivision. Its landmark status protects its exterior from substantial renovation unless approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission

Angle declined to discuss the transaction. He listed the five lots in the subdivision for sale last year, and the first of them changed hands last fall.

Immediately west of Audita at 95 Middle Road, another lot is under contract, according to the MLS. But it’s unclear whether the buyer of Audita is also eyeing that lot for use as a yard. The lot is priced at just under $8 million.

Audita’s first owners were Afred and Elizabeth Kay, prominent Palm Beach residents for more than 60 years. The house was the first of three they owned on South Ocean Boulevard.

Society architect Marion Sims Wyeth carried out renovations to the property. The house has a broad lawn that stretches to the coastal road, while the front door faces west. Three blocks from Worth Avenue, the property includes a separate guesthouse and a two-car garage.

Audita’s floor plan is similar to those in several other Mizner houses of its size, according to Mizner’s Florida, a book by the late historian Donald Curl. Interior details include Cuban-tile and hardwood floors, beamed ceilings and a cast-stone fireplace.

The town granted Audita landmark status in 1991.

Wood, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2016, has lived in Palm Beach for more than a decade. Last year, he completed a mansion for his own use at 101 Via Marina, a few doors down from Audita. Angle also has listed for sale, at $41 million, a house at 530 S. Ocean Blvd., which Wood developed on speculation next door to his new home.

Wood founded Direct Line, Esure.com and other companies that provide insurance to customers in Great Britain. He has also been involved in the insurance business in the United States.

In the 2016 sale of the former Kluge estate, agent John O. Pickett of Brown Harris Stevens represented Wood. The property was on the market for nearly five years, co-listed by agents Carol Digges and Carole Hogan of Brown Harris Stevens and Paulette Koch and Dana Koch of the Corcoran Group. Proceeds from that sale benefited Columbia Univeristy, Kluge’s alma mater.

The first of the subdivision’s lots sold in October to a next-door neighbor for just under $7 million in a deal handled by Angle. The lot was bought by company controlled by Thomas D. O’Malley, who lives with his wife, Mary Alice, immediately to the east in an oceanfront house at 101 El Bravo Way. Audita stands immediately north of the O’Malley house.

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