Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Did Ken Griffin Spend $130 million in Palm Beach?

The real estate scuttlebutt on the palm tree-lined streets in more moneyed codes of south Florida is tha married Chicago-based hedge fund managers Ken Griffin and Anne Dias-Griffin may have coughed up a teeth chattering $130,000,000 for four contiguous properties in Palm Beach situated just south of Donald Trump's flamboyantly opulent Mar-a-Lago and the über-elite—and high-WASP—Bath & Tennis Club. The four deal(s) went down quietly, simultaneously and off-market, according to the Palm Beach Daily News, and were recorded by the Palm Beach County Clerk in the last few days of December.*

The four properties—two of which were bought from the same seller—were purchased by a pair of Delaware-based limited liability companies. The children should note that only one the LLCs can be tangentially connected through an Miami Beach condominium linked to Mister Griffin's Citadel Investment Group in Chicago.

With a current net worth recently estimated by the folks at Forbes to be in excess of three billion bucks—that's down from a high of $3.7 billion in 2008 but way back up from the $2.3 billion it had fallen to in 2011—Mister Griffin and Missus Dias-Griffin can easily afford to shell out $130 million all at once for a quartet of luxury homes on one of Palm Beach's most desirable stretches of sand. But that does not mean they did. What that means, hunny bunnies, is that—for now—this fascinatin' potentiality that Mister Griffin and Missus Dias-Griffin might be the buyers of all four properties is little more than a juicy bit of high brow real estate rumor and gossip. Let's proceed unarmed with any confirmation of Mister Griffin's alleged possible purchase in Palm Beach anyways, shall we?

Two of the properties—one ocean front and the other landlocked to the adjoining west—were sold by trusts connected to a lady named Mary Bolton, a Palm Beach grande dame whose grandfather built one of the first ocean front properties in Palm Beach. Miz Bolton's pair of properties were bought by the same oddly named Black Calabash Family Holdings LLC . The landlocked parcel—1.65 acres with an award winning 4,376 square foot Old Florida-style residence designed by Miz Bolton's architect son and built in 1989 with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms—went for $14,300,000 according to the Palm Beach Daily News. The neighboring ocean front spread spans 1.98 ocean front acres with an approximately 10,000 square foot Mediterranean-style mansion built in 1989 with 5 bedrooms and six bathrooms. It went for $35,700,000.

The two adjoining ocean front properties stacked directly to the north of the two sold by Miz Bolton were sold in separate transactions by two different sellers. Both were purchased, again according to the Palm Beach Daily News, by PBH LLC., the mysterious above mentioned corporate entity that is somewhat circuitously "linked in public records to Citadel Investments Group" via a condo in Miami Beach.

The 2.21 acre northernmost parcel, with its 14,354 square foot mansion, was bought from businessman Walter McPhail and his wife Mary Anne and went for $37,950,000. Interestingly the most expensive of the four transactions was the $41,650,000 spent by PBH LLC to acquire a 2.04 acre currently vacant parcel between the Bolton and McPhail properties. The as yet unidentified  sellers did very well on the sale as they had only acquired the beach front property in May 2011 for $29,150,000 after which they knocked down the then-existing house down. That's an impressive $12,500,000 profit, less carrying costs, demolition expenses and real estate fees.

Altogether the four parcels total 7.88 acres and currently contain three substantial houses and three swimming pools. But again, Your Mama must street, children, that the various transactions and LLCs may or may not have anything to do with Mister Griffin.

Whether or not they're the actual buyers of all or any of the four Palm Beach parcels Mister and Missus Griffin none-the-less maintain an impressive portfolio of private residences in Chicago, New York City and the big island of Hawaii.

New York City property watchers may recall that it was Mister and Missus Griffin who, in December 2009, paid wildly wealthy banking widow and international society fixture Lily Safra $40,000,000 for her full-floor penthouse level spread at 820 Fifth Avenue. Those children may also recall that Miz Safra's team of movers didn't have to pack up and haul her precious collectibles very far since she'd paid house builder Ara Hovnanian and his artist wife Rachel Hovnanian $33,000,000 for their seriously sophisticated and almost all white Piet Boon-designed digs on the fourth floor.

In 2009 various property gossips in the business media revealed the hedge fund fat cats coughed up $11,380,000 for a four acre vacant parcel at the Four Seasons Hualalai in Hawaii and in early 2011 they coughed up almost $17,000,000 more for a 5,600 square foot Balinese style house that sits right on the ocean.

In August 2000 Chicago-based Mister Griffin spent $6,900,000 on a penthouse level apartment in a mixed-use skyscraper on Chicago's Miracle Mile. Just a few months ago it was revealed by the Chicago Tribune's real estate chronicler Bob Goldsborough that Mister and Missus Griffin bought the 7,900 square foot full floor unit directly below for a record breaking $15,000,000. Of course, Your Mama don't know an apple from a barbecue pit but we'd bet both our long-bodied bitches, Linda and Beverly, they plan to spend millions more combining their pair of Michigan Avenue aeries.

*Your Mama has zero reason to quibble with or dispute the accuracy of the details in the Palm Beach Daily News report but—for the record—as of today none of the several online databases Your Mama checked, including the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser, reflect a transfer of ownership of any of the four properties.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Their Chicago penthouse is now a triplex. The original unit was the top floor plus a second floor mostly tucked into the mansard roof. Now he owns the big full floor below with a huge terrace and an equally large sunroom on the other side.
Its called Park Tower and it's awesome

Anonymous said...

10 to 1 he nukes all the houses and builds himself a Saudi prince-like village!

Kris Krohn said...

I have seen Park Tower. It looks amazing and it's my dream to have something like that.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find this odd? Suddenly his real estate activities have gone into hyper drive. While substantial... he appears to have only had the penthouse in Chicago for years and now suddenly is buying property like woah.

Anonymous said...

Gotta find a place to stash the cash before Obama snatches it all!

Anonymous said...

Before Obama snatches all of his money? Are you crazy?

First of all hedge fund money is taxes differently than regular people income...at a much lower rate. Secondly even if Griffin has to pay 5 or even 10 % more in taxes he'll hardly be impoverished...he made $700,000,000 in 2011, would another $35 or 70 million actually make a difference in his quality of life? I really doubt it.

Anonymous said...

No he didn't buy them all

Anonymous said...

Kris Krohn, lotsa luck but fat chance. Upward mobility in the US is a lot worse than in Europe and the rest of the advanced world. What all this screams to sensible people is that we need a mansion tax in the US. The recent agreement didn't raise nearly enough from the rich and super rich. We need a hefty tax on mansions and a wealth tax too. These people are oozing more money than their greed can absorb. Take it and expand welfare programs. 7:36 understand it pretty well. Americans are far too prone to feel sorry for billionaires. Some weird affliction that.

Anonymous said...

The four transactions were all recorded within a three-day period. Obviously the same buyer was behind all of them.

Anonymous said...

"Take" their wealth and use it to fund welfare programs? Who are you, Karl Marx?

Anonymous said...

Yup Obama!! Have the children noticed the glee in his eyes when he speaks about taxing (confistcating from) the rich? He probably has to change his shorts soon after...

Anonymous said...

4:51 Karl Marx? No, just a Christian who cares about his fellow human beings. By the way, Marx never had much use for welfare. He thought it blocked revolutionary will power. Perhaps you should read a bit of Marx before you talk about him.

Anonymous said...

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

― John Steinbeck

Anonymous said...

Thank you John Steinbeck.

WrteStufLA said...

According to the article in "Palm Beach Daily News," all the properties are located on a small dead-end cul-de-sac called Blossom Way; indeed might comprise ALL the properties on Blossom Way. If so, the Griffiths might be about to renovate/raze/build the most elaborate private residential compound in Palm Beach, if not the entire USA -- potentially much grander than the late John Kluge's Palm Beach compound. Blossom Way is covered by google maps -- you can drop down to street view it. An incredibly lush little enclave. I'm usually pretty disdainful of hedge fund money (read: jealous), but in this particular case will be tracking the properties' redevelopment to vicariously live the dream!

Anonymous said...

He shoulda bought the Siegels Versailles. Just sayin

FalseProfit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"...redevelopment to vicariously live the dream!"

Ah yes, worshiping the rich. In 17th century Spain food was not easy to come by. Many famished peasants would be allowed to go to court and stand some distance away simply to watch the royal family, etc., eat. Marveling at and vicariously enjoying each morsel of meat and cheese they consumed. For the peasantry meat and cheese was only a dream. Things haven't changed much, have they?

FalseProfit said...

11:29, I agree. Wealth worship is revolting.

Candy Spelling said...

Darlings, I know Florida is a beautiful place and Hawaii is exquisite, but I can't help but feel that Mr. Griffin should rather be considering fine homes in Los Angeles. After all, LA is the most bustling metropolitan area in the U.S. and we have some of the most regal and exquisite estates in the world here, including The Manor.

Anonymous said...

mama kelsey grammer is selling his new house!

FalseProfit said...

"LA is the most bustling metropolitan area in the U.S."

Very debatable. Many would consider LA nothing more than a huge suburb. No very metropolitan when compared to NYC, SF or Chicago. N'est pas?

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone not in the biz want to live in Los Angeles? It's an ugly unsophisticated city.

Anonymous said...

hahahahahahah @ 'candy spelling'

Sorry dear but no.

Anonymous said...

Wrtestufla- you're late to the game. These are not all of the lots on Blossom Way- the house that the Lindeman's sold is on Blossom, as well as the house that the Floyds owned before they moved to the north part of the island. Nelson Peltz's place is a much better and more important property than anything that could be built here, So this will never be the most important property in Palm Beach, let alone the US. John Kluge's place isn't so great, or it would have sold already. What people who don't know PB don't know about is the jet noise from the Airport, which is very close. Anyone who knows the island would want to be north of Worth Avenue or south of the old Weidner place. The jet noise in between is terrible- especially at Mar a Lago. Blossom Way isn't as bad as Casa Apava, but it's still noisy!

Anonymous said...

Should be a nice compound when done.

Anonymous said...

Nothing will ever top Ira Rennert's Sagaponack (Hamptons) compound. Nothing.

MarkyMark said...

I dunno, I still think that Larry Ellison has got all of them beat by a mile.

LAAdGuy said...

WrtestuffLA, if you look at the aerial on bing maps, you'll see that Emeral Beach Way has an empty middle lot just like Mama described, so this looks more likely as the lots being described, plus the house on the ocean looks Med, so a better fit. However, as Mama says, this is just all rumor and gossip till the props ownership switch shows up on the interwebs.

Anonymous said...

6:18, let me guess, you live in Buttfuck, Tennessee, correct?

Anonymous said...

6:11 AM

Recently spent 20 years in LA. LA is an unsophisticated, burgeoning 3rd World, heap of sprawl with rotting infrastructure, a surge in marginally educated underclass, a toilet for an airport, bitter populace and choking traffic despite its 12% unemployment rate. It has gone from near paradise to shit and you can blame that on politics, unions, unfriendly attitude towards business, high taxes, and illegal aliens. Despite the amazing weather and some really awesome food, you can take it. You'll find more courtesy, grace, beauty in other parts of the US, that is if you aren't too snobby to open your eyes. But have fun when the shit goes down. We'll be rooting for you. Really. Bless your heart.

Anonymous said...

Ken's purchase will likely wow his unrequited love that he met on the Island in the 80s while he was still in high school. She lives in Palm Beach and she will surely be impressed.

Let's see if he can finally conquer her.

Anonymous said...

Ken's purchase will likely wow his unrequited love that he met on the Island in the 80s while he was still in high school. She lives in Palm Beach and she will surely be impressed.

Let's see if he can finally conquer her.

kavi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Edward Thirlwall said...

Well, everyone changes all the time. Sometimes we invest in shares, the next day we invest in property. For Griffin's case, he likes to invest on a really large scale and that is really his choice. Perhaps he needs a place for every single one of his family members or needs a really enormous amount of space for storage. Who knows, and who cares? If you can afford anything on the face of this earth, you probably would be spending it all away too.