A Palm Beach real estate pause? Developers, Realtors decry the injustice of it all

Welcome to The Dirt! I’m real estate reporter Kimberly Miller with the latest developments in the sizzling market. 

One of the wealthiest towns in America is talking about pausing home construction projects because all these newbies are coming in and ruining the vibe. That town would be Palm Beach, friends, and judging from the emails I got, the world is genuinely coming to an end because of it.

The issue was taken off of today’s town council meeting, but it will still hear public comments at 2 p.m.

Truthfully, this is a fascinating tale of a storied town steeped in wealth and history that is struggling to maintain its character in the face of an unprecedented influx of monied new residents. Palm Beach is a unique place in Florida. It’s not all billionaires. Head to the north end where some very down-to-earth ranch-style homes sit and you’ll get a different picture of the island. There’s still some funky Old Florida there.

Rejected by the Palm Beach Architectural Commission, this oceanfront mansion with a street-front guesthouse was designed for a vacant beachfront lot at 965 N. Ocean Blvd.

Whether it’s the destruction of older homes in favor of Goliath estates, or the increase in crowds at the beaches, Palm Beach is in a pickle. Clamp down too hard, and island residents look like a bunch of overprotective luddite snobs. Do nothing, and the island risks losing some of the things that make it Palm Beach.

It’s a Brightline world, we just live in it. But will we ride it?

Brightline is testing trains to travel over 100 mph. A northbound Brightline train near Northeast 13th Avenue in Boynton Beach, Florida on January 4, 2021.

Brightline debuted its station at the Orlando International Airport last month and it was tough not to be impressed with the attention to detail. Did you know Brightline has a signature scent? They’ve thought of everything, it seems, but will fancy cocktails and vanilla/citrus-perfumed trains lure enough people for it to make a profit?

Some train experts say Brightline is in an incredibly rare situation that might just bring the passenger rail service success when others have failed in epic fashion. Find out who its target audience is in my story. You may be surprised.

Another season comes to an end. Here’s a summary of the whack-a-mole game that is Palm Beach real estate

1350 N. Lake Way, Palm Beach

The Dirt knows you can’t keep track of all the high-rollin’ deals going down in Palm Beach, so, we’ll sum a whole season of sales up for you. Well, senior business reporter Alexandra Clough and luxury real estate reporter Darrell Hofheinz will sum it up for you. And it’s no easy task folks. There are more undercover sales happening than there are beer barge partyers at SunFest. (As an aside, who goes on those bacchanalia boats? They just look…sticky to me.🤮)

Beer-brewing royalty invests in new Onix Delray Beach luxury condominiums

The Onix Residences of Delray Beach is planned for 26 luxury units and 5,000 square feet of retail space south of Atlantic Avenue near SE 5th Avenue and SE 3rd Street. The project is expected to be finished in 2025.

Beer, real estate, horses, reality TV…the Busch family is down with it all and two of the great-great-grandchildren of Adolphus A. Busch are investors in a new luxury Delray Beach condominium planned for a few blocks south of Atlantic Avenue.

Before you start getting out your checkbook for a down payment, starting prices are upwards of $1 million. But the developer, and Gussie Busch, 27, and Haley Busch, 30, are betting people will pay to be close to the artsy/foodie/beachy action in downtown Delray.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani gets new neighbor in Palm Beach iconic condominium

A penthouse condominium at the iconic Southlake building in the Town of Palm Beach sold for $8 million in March 2023 to the billionaire Barron G. Collier family.

The iconic Southlake Condominium just east of Palm Beach’s new marina is a swirl of pink mid-century art deco that is hard to miss as you cross the deadly dreamy Royal Park Bridge. And while The Dirt is not below using former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s name to increase clicks, the real story at the Southlake is about a descendent of the namesake for Collier County recently buying a penthouse there for $8 million.

Who else lived at the Southlake? Oh, just a fella by the name of Churchill.

Live lightly.

Kimberly Miller is a veteran journalist for The Palm Beach Post, part of the USA Today Network of Florida. She covers real estate and how growth affects South Florida’s environment. Subscribe to The Dirt for a weekly real estate roundup. If you have news tips, please send them to [email protected]. Help support our local journalism, subscribe today. 

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