An investment group led by a developer has sold a lot with town-approved plans for a house in the Estate Section’s newest subdivision for a recorded $14.75 million.
And the new owners — technology executive James Sankey and his wife, Beth — have contracted with a builder to complete the 10,000-square-foot house, which is already in the early stages of construction, according to courthouse records and sources familiar with the transaction in Palm Beach.
Developer and real estate investor Braden G. Smith sold the property at 125 El Bravo Way, which he and his group owned through a limited liability company, property records show. Smith declined to identify the buyers or his investors.
The midblock lot is on the stretch of El Bravo Way between South Ocean Boulevard and South County Road, about a third of a mile south of Worth Avenue.
“It’s a beautiful piece of land — (about) half an acre — and that’s hard to find in Palm Beach. It’s only one lot off the ocean,” Smith said Friday. “I think the buyers will have a lovely experience with their home here.”
James Sankey, who goes by Jim, is CEO of InVue, an international company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, that provides software and hardware products to help companies with their merchandising, security and networking needs, according to its website.
The Sankeys have an address in Charlotte, the deed shows.
Read more about the property:Third lot in subdivision on former Kluge land fetches $7.19M at 125 El Bravo Way
The sale closed Thursday, according to the local multiple listing service, which reported the price of the transaction the next day.
Smith and his group paid a recorded $7.187 million for the vacant lot about a year ago. Working with Boca Raton-based builder Paul Courchene of Courchene Development Group, Smith in December won approval from the Architectural Commission to build the house on the property.
Soon after that decision, Smith’s group listed the vacant lot — along with the house plans — for $15.9 million through agent Christopher Deitz of William Raveis South Florida. Crews began preliminary work earlier this year at the lot, which had been under contract since March 23, according to the MLS.
A notice filed at the Palm Beach County courthouse confirmed that Courchene will build the house, although It’s unclear how much the Sankeys have contracted to pay for it. Courchene and the Sankeys couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.
Deitz declined to discuss the sale, and Smith said he was only involved in the sale of the land and the house plans.
Agent James Kenny of K2 Realty Inc. handled the buyer’s side of the deal, the MLS shows. He couldn’t be immediately reached.
House originally planned as a ‘spec’ project
Initial plans called for the house to be developed on speculation, Smith previously told the Palm Beach Daily News, but it has since morphed into a custom home for the buyer.
Michael Perry of Palm Beach-based MP Design & Architecture designed the house with five bedrooms and traditional-style architecture influenced by Bermudan estates.
At the time he bought the lot, Smith said the house would be carefully designed to meet the demands of buyers, especially those who saw Palm Beach as offering a year-round haven from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We don’t want the house to take up the lot,” he said at the time. “People today are staying for longer periods in Palm Beach and they want to be outside.”
Smith heads BGS Development LLC on Royal Poinciana Way and has a background in real estate honed in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City. He has been involved in the development and sale of three other spec houses in Palm Beach over the past two years. Two of those projects involved Courchene.
All six lots in subdivision have sold
The lot on El Bravo Way was the third of the six to have sold in the subdivision, which was platted in 2017 by British insurance magnate and seasonal Palm Beacher Sir Peter Wood. The subdivision was carved from an estate once owned by the late communications billionaire John Kluge.
Wood initially earned the town’s approval to break the property into five vacant lots, although officials agreed that one of the original lots could later be split in two. The lot that just sold was one of the split lots.
From the archives: Town Council, developer agree on how to subdivide late billionaire’s estate
So far, one house — at 95 Middle Road — has been built in the subdivision. It is listed for sale at $28.75 million by Toronto residents and seasonal Palm Beachers Adrian Tauro and Sloan Mauran, who built it. Agent Suzanne Frisbie of the Corcoran Group has the listing for that house.
The design for another house, a custom home at 86 Middle Road on the largest parcel in the subdivision, earned the blessing of the Architectural Commission in April. The family behind the trust that owns the property has not been publicly identified.
The last vacant lot to change hands was a vacant parcel measuring four-tenths of an acre at 599 S. County Road. Wood’s company sold it in March for a recorded $5.1 million to SAS Realty Enterprises of Paramus, New Jersey, courthouse records show. Broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate handled the seller’s side of that deal opposite agent Gail Cohen of Brown Harris Stevens. Angle represented Wood in all of the sales in the subdivision.
Wood paid a recorded $39 million for the 4.2-acre estate In April 2016. In all, Wood’s sales there totaled about $60.75 million, courthouse records show. The sales include a 2018 deal in which he sold, for $18.25 million, a landmarked oceanfront house that was part of Kluge’s estate.
From the archives: Developer Wood buys former Kluge estate for $39 million
Seller Smith developed other projects in Palm Beach
Smith previously worked with Courchene on spec houses that sold in 2019 and 2020 at 201 Sanford Ave. and 266 Fairview Road, respectively. Also involved in those projects was Insignia Design Group, the firm that Smith originally commissioned to furnish the El Bravo Way house.
The four-bedroom, 4,550-square-foot house on Fairview changed hands for a recorded $6.65 million. Deitz and his William Raveis colleague Jonathan Duerr represented the seller and the buyer, Linda Fennell.
From the archives: As virus scare escalated, Palm Beach spec house on Fairview Road drew three offers
On Sanford, the four-bedroom house with 5,302 total square feet changed hands for a recorded $6.17 million, with Douglas Elliman Real Estate agents Cara Coniglio McClure and Lisa Wilkinson acted on behalf of the buyer, Richard M. Charlton. Deitz and Duerr represented Smith in that sale.
Last year, Smith also sold for a recorded $5.05 million a four-bedroom, 4,900-square-foot house at 210 Fairview Road he developed in partnership with Josh Geld. In that sale, Smith and Geld were represented by agents Todd and Frances Peter of Sotheby’s International Realty. Angle acted on behalf of buyer Aaron W. Ford.
This story was updated with information about the buyers of 125 El Bravo Way on Aug. 23, 2021, the day the deed was recorded by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office. This a developing story. Check back for updates.