Palm Beach award-winning house set to sell; agency opens office

Seller James W. Harpel appears finally to have found a buyer for La Tonteria, his landmarked, award-winning house at 1102 N. Ocean Blvd., which has been on the market for several years.

Broker Christian J. Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate acquired the listing last summer and has the Colonial Revival-style house on the North End priced at $25.9 million. He marked his MLS listing “pending” on Monday.

In 2010, the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach honored Harpel and the house with its Robert I. Ballinger Award, which recognizes historically sensitive renovations. Built in 1935 and designed by noted society architect John L. Volk, the house was completely rebuilt over 3½ years in a complex renovation overseen by architect Jeffery Smith of Smith Architectural Group.

Harpel, a private-equity specialist, reworked the floor plan to reverse the curve of the main staircase and added new rooms, including a new wing on the north side. In all, there are six bedrooms and 17,300 square feet of living space, inside and out. The 1.4-acre property includes a private beach house across North County Road, along with a swimming pool, a tennis court, and a basement-level wine cellar and tasting room.

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Meanwhile, across the bridge — New York City-based Brown Harris Stevens, which has long had a presence in Palm Beach, has been expanding its South Florida presence, of late, with acquisitions of agencies in Lake Worth and Miami.

And this week, the firm was expected to open the doors of its first West Palm Beach office. In Suite C-1 at 1970 S. Dixie Highway, the location will hold its official grand-opening celebration for May 5, says broker Ava Van de Water, who also oversees three Palm Beach offices among her regional duties.

The office is in the Magnolia Court condo building at the northeast corner of Flamingo Drive and South Dixie. With about 1,800 square feet and desks for 17 agents, the space was designed by architect Michael J. Johnson and built by contractor Dan Labonte of Labonte Construction Services .

“We are showcasing our state-of-the-art technology,” Van de Water says. “We have LED window displays with our listings and a big-screen TV that also showcases our listings.”

The office has a sleek, chic look with a black ceiling and floor complemented by white custom-designed desks with quartz tops.

Longtime Brown Harris Stevens agent Sabra Kirkpatrick is the new office’s sales director.

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Darrell Hofheinz writes about real estate and edits Home & Loggia. He welcomes news items about Palm Beach real estate for this column. Email dhofheinz@pbdailynews.com, call 820-3831 or tweet @PBDN_Hofheinz.


Source: Palm Beach award-winning house set to sell; agency opens office