Palm Beach just saw another residential sale top $100 million, according to the price recorded with the deed for a sea-to-lake estate at 1840 S. Ocean Blvd.
Seasonal resident Dr. Ernst Langner, who has ties to Hamburg, Germany, sold for a recorded $109.625 million the estate he and his wife, Nataly, built on the south end of Billionaires Row.
The sale price is the second-highest Palm Beach residential transaction ever documented at the Palm Beach County Courthouse.
The sale price trailed the recorded price of a February sale across town, in which a never-lived-in house developed on speculation at 535 N. County Road sold for a recorded $122.65 million — a price that likely set a state record for a single seller/single buyer residential sale.
The sale logged this week is the second deal within two months to hit $95 million, courthouse records show. In a deal recorded May 19 at $95 million, an oceanfront mansion at 1341 S. Ocean Blvd. sold on the same stretch of coastal road as the former Langner estate.
The 1840 South Ocean Trust was on the buyer’s side of this week’s sale, with West Palm Beach attorney Ronald S. Kochman serving as trustee, according to the deed recorded Wednesday. Kochman declined to comment, and rules governing trusts cloak the identity of anyone else associated with the buyer.
Completed in 2014 with an L-shaped floor plan, the former Langner estate has tropical-inspired architecture, nine bedrooms and 29,422 square feet of living space, inside and out. The house presides over a 2.66-acre lot with about 270 feet of frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway and the same amount of beachfront. South Ocean Boulevard separates the bulk of the estate from the property’s beach parcel.
The Langners have downsized to a contemporary-style house on the South End that changed hands in May for a recorded $10.458 million at 2288 Ibis Isle W. That house is on the west side of Ibis Isle, the small island in the Intracoastal Waterway near the Par 3 Golf Course.
Broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates represented both sides of sale on South Ocean Boulevard, according to the closed sales listing. Moens also represented the buyer’s side of the deal on Ibis Isle.
Moens and the Langners couldn’t be reached for comment.
On South Ocean Boulevard
An entity associated with Ernst Langner paid a recorded $23.5 million for the South Ocean Boulevard property in an off-market deal in 2012 and razed a 1970-sra house there to built their home.
The property the Langners just sold is the seventh estate north of Sloan’s Curve, the sharp turn in South Ocean Boulevard that divides the stretch of ocean-to-lake estates on the north from the South End’s Condominium Row.
Moens listed the estate in late February with an asking of $115 million, which included “select furnishings. ” It’s unclear if any of the furnishing changed hands in the sale.
The house was the most expensive property in the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service this week, an online search showed.
The estate was sold through a revocable trust for which Ernst Langner, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, serves as trustee, property records show.
The Langner estate was designed with “island classical” architecture, in the words of its architect, Roger Janssen of Dailey Janssen Architects of West Palm Beach. With a four-car garage, the two-story residence was built by developer Dan Swanson’s Addison Development Group.
Verandas on the front of the house afford wide ocean views. At the rear of the estate, steps lead down to a broad lawn facing the lake and the dock.
The house has about 16,000 square feet of air-conditioned space, property records show. The layout includes a lakefront living room, a dining room, a library/den, an exercise room and a temperature-controlled wine room. Interiors feature classical columns, coffered ceilings, and floors of stone and hardwood.
The house replaced a 1971 Mediterranean-style house that was owned by longtime Palm Beach resident Ruby Rinker, who served as trustee of the trust that sold the property.
From the archives: Ruby Rinker sells Billionaire’s Row estate for $23.5 million in private deal
On Ibis Isle
Ernst Langer bought the ultra-contemporary-style house on Ibis Isle from real estate developer Michael Joseph and his wife, Roberta, who built for themselves. The sale price of the two-story house was recorded at $10.458 million, as previously reported on PalmBeachDailyNews.com.
The Josephs completed their gated house on Ibis Isle about five years ago after buying the property for a recorded $1.5 million in June 2013 and knocking down a house there. The lot measures a little over a quarter-acre and faces 100 feet of waterfront on the west side of Ibis Isle.
With flat roofs and expansive walls of glass, the four-bedroom house on Ibis Isle has 5,655 square feet of living space, inside and out, including a two-car garage, records show.
The Ibis Isle house was designed by architect Kyle Webb of Vail, Colorado, with a focus on indoor-outdoor living, according to the sales listing prepared by agents Joan Wenzel and Pamela Gottfried of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. They listed the house at $11.887 million March 15 and had it under contract within several days, according to the MLS.
Materials used in the Ibis Isle house include fine woods, exposed steel and concrete. The great room opens to a lakefront deck with a summer kitchen and an entertaining area facing the rear lawn, according to the sales listing.
At the front of the house built by the Josephs is a water feature that empties into a 70-foot-long lap pool nearby.
The Josephs will miss Ibis Isle and the house they built there, Roberta Joseph said when the sale closed. “It’s bittersweet. This house was a labor of love for us,” she said, noting that it took about three years to build.
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The ownership of the house was structured so the Josephs shared it among themselves and two trusts in their names, property records show. They had the property homesteaded in the latest property tax rolls, records show.
Michael Joseph is president of Clover Management Inc. and Clover Construction Management Inc. of Williamsville, New York. He has overseen the purchase and development of apartment buildings and commercial space in New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, according to the companies’ website.
Wenzel handled both sides of the 2013 sale when the Josephs bought the property. At the time, she was affiliated with the old Fite Shavell & Associates, which today is William Raveis South Florida.
A season of big deals
Sources familiar with the record-setting sale this spring of 535 N. County Road confirmed for the Palm Beach Daily News that as much as $133 million changed hands in the deal, even though the price recorded with the deed was nearly $10 million lower. Sale prices recorded at the courthouse are sometimes lower than contract prices, because the latter may include items such as real estate commissions, furnishings and fees.
In the sale on North County Road, the buying entity was linked to private-equity specialist Scott Schleifer and represented by New York City broker Ryan Serhant of Serhant in collaboration with agent Christopher Leavitt of Douglas Elliman Real Estate’s Palm Beach brokerage. Moens, who had an investment stake in the property, represented the seller, a company controlled by developer Mark Pulte of Mark Timothy Inc.
In the sale recorded in May at $95 million at 1341 S. Ocean Blvd., the actual amount changing hands slightly topped $100 million, sources confirmed. That deal saw sellers Edward “Chris” G. Watkins and his wife, Karen, parted with their custom-built mansion. A trust was on the buyer’s side of the off-market sale. Moens handled both sides.
Record-setting deal:Sale recorded at $122.7M seaside ‘spec’ house sets new record in Palm Beach
Other high-dollar sales
The sale of the Langner estate on South Ocean Boulevard tops the $105 million price recorded for the sale that previously held the second-highest-dollar spot in Palm Beach. That sale closed in December 2019, when Matrix Essentials beauty mogul Sydell Miller sold the beachfront parcel of her ocean-to lake estate at 1415 S. Ocean Blvd. The actual amount changing hands in that deal was said to be $111 million, although the price documented at the courthouse was lower.
Miller sold her mansion to hedge-fund manager Steven Schonfeld and his wife, Brooke Kaplan Schonfeld, who were represented by broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate, with Moens acting for Miller. (In February, Miller sold her lakefront parcel, at 1440 S. Ocean Blvd., for a recorded $42 million in February in a sale handled on both sides by Moens.)
The price recorded for the Miller/Schonfeld oceanfront deal barely eclipsed the documented price of a sale down the street that closed in July 2019. That’s when the late investment-firm heiress Terry Allen Kramer’s ocean-to-lake estate at 1295 S. Ocean Blvd. sold privately for a documented price of $104.99 million. Sources told the Daily News that a little more than $110 million actually changed hands in that deal, in which the buyer was an entity said to be linked to hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin. Moens handled the buyer’s side opposite Douglas Elliman agents Gary Pohrer, Ashley McIntosh, Cara Coniglio McClure, Lisa Wilkinson and Adam McPherson.
This story has been updated from a previous version.