Insurance tycoon sells Palm Beach lot to spec home developer

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August 28, 2020
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As reported in The Real Deal.

Insurance tycoon Peter Wood sold a piece of the former Kluge estate in Palm Beach to a spec home developer for $7.2 million.

89 Middle Road LLC, tied to the law firms of Kapp Morrison and Squire Patton Boggs, sold the non-waterfront lot at 125 El Bravo Way to a company tied to Braden G. Smith, property records show.

The property was part of the larger 4.3-acre John Kluge estate at 89 Middle Road that was torn down and subdivided. Columbia University sold the mansion to Wood in 2016 for $39 million.

Smith has developed a few homes in Palm Beach, including 201 Sanford Avenue and two houses on Fairview Road, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. He has also worked in real estate in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

Smith told the Palm Beach Daily News he plans to build a $25 million mansion on the El Bravo Way lot.

The lot had been on the market on and off since 2017, when it was listed for $14.5 million. In 2019, the price was reduced to $8.3 million.

Earlier this year, a company tied to Quicken Loans and its chairman Dan Gilbert bought a mansion on the same street as Smith’s lot for $24.5 million.

In July, Todd Michael Glaser and his partners paid more than $6 million for the lot at 259 Pendleton Avenue with plans to build a multimillion-dollar spec home after selling the spec home at 111 Atlantic Avenue.

A majority of the priciest home sales in the tri-county region in 2019 were for properties in Palm Beach, led by the $105 million sale of 1415 South Ocean Boulevard to billionaire hedge funder Steven Schonfeld and his wife Brooke.

The high-end single-family market in Palm Beach has continued to outperform the rest of the market in South Florida, especially in recent months.