By Robyn A. Friedman
Superstar real estate developer Frank McKinney is going out with a bang.
If you’re familiar with the self-described “real estate artist,” you’d probably expect the unveiling of his latest oceanfront spec house to be quite the event. You wouldn’t have been disappointed.
McKinney introduced his latest creation to the world last week in spectacular fashion. Ever the showman, McKinney arrived by helicopter to greet the 200 attendees, rappelling down a rope to the roof of the house while the chopper hovered above.
He then set off a pyrotechnics display, causing flames and sparklers to surround the $17.5 million estate, which he calls his “final masterpiece.”
The three-story “Tropical Modern” home has five bedrooms, five baths and 100 feet of direct oceanfront. Features include 11,000-year-old azure-blue lava kitchen countertops from Auvergne, France; a 1,270-square-foot oceanfront master suite that is 31 feet above sea level; a three-story glass elevator encased in a glass wine room; a 50-foot pool; a rooftop lounge with summer kitchen; and a cascading water wall with reflecting pool. There’s also an indoor jellyfish sphere complete with touch tank. The house is being sold fully furnished.[More Real Estate News] Mediterranean ‘palace’ in Coral Gables going for a king’s ransom: $55 million | PHOTOS »
“I collected feedback from past properties and buyers, studied shifting luxury home buying trends and traveled the world collecting the best features available and curated it all to create 3492 S. Ocean,” McKinney said.
After starting his real estate career in South Florida in 1986, McKinney built and sold 44 oceanfront properties. He has said that the property unveiled last week — a 7,850-square-foot mansion at 3492 S. Ocean Blvd. in South Palm Beach — will be his last.
“A Renaissance man shifts passion at the peak of his or her endeavor,” said McKinney, of Delray Beach. “I’ve never loved what I do more, or been better at it than at this very moment, and that tells me it’s time to redirect that passion into a new and exciting direction.”
In addition to being a real estate developer, McKinney is also a published author and athlete who has completed the 135-mile Badwater ultramarathon through Death Valley multiple times. His foundation, Caring House Project, builds villages in Haiti.
By Christine Davis
On the market: Developer Frank McKinney’s final project is a 7,850-square-foot, tropical-modern beachfront home in South Palm Beach.
A just-completed oceanfront house for sale immediately south of Palm Beach made its debut in late May amid fireworks and fanfare, with developer Frank McKinney descending from a hovering helicopter via a cable to greet guests at the grand-opening party.
Always the showman, McKinney says the house — priced with its furnishings at $17.5 million — will be his final real estate project.
“I’m retiring from real estate,” says Delray Beach-based McKinney, who for 27 years has built and remodeled beachside houses and mansions up and down the South Florida coast.
“This is the most beautiful of the 44 projects I’ve done since 1992. I have never loved what I do more, but it’s time to redirect,” McKinney says.
He says hasn’t yet pinned down his next adventure, as he is absorbed in the sales process for the five-bedroom, five-bath house at 3492 S. Ocean Blvd. in South Palm Beach. With 7,850 square feet of living space, inside and out, the property is listed through Steve Presson, an agent with The Corcoran Group.
McKinney describes the architectural style as “tropical modern,” with a geometric, modular design and a concrete exterior faced in Ipe wood punctuated by large glass windows.
Facing about 90 feet of beachfront, the house stands on a lot measuring about four-tenths of an acre, tucked into an enclave of four single-family homes in a neighborhood dotted by condominium buildings.
The design focuses on the sea. A deck runs along the entire east side, where a 50-foot-long infinity-edge pool, an outdoor shower and a summer kitchen overlook the ocean. On the top floor — 44 feet above sea level — is an open-air rooftop lounge with a bar offering dramatic water views.
On the west side of the house, the front entrance is nearly as dramatic. Visitors walk from the motor court to the front door via a series of wood platforms installed over a reflecting pool, which catches water cascading down an adjacent 14-foot wall. Next to the front door are windows looking into the glass-and-black-porcelain stair tower, which rises three stories.
For the house’s design, McKinney worked with the Miami architectural firm of Choeff, Levy and Fishman. He knew the look he was after and gave the designers diagrams and room descriptions — and the final design, with rooms seamlessly flowing from one to next, emerged from there.
“They were designing tropical stuff in Miami, and I really liked what they were doing. I asked them to scale down their much-larger designs to a usable size,” McKinney says. “I’m a believer that ultra-wealthy buyers now have houses in four or five countries and they are spending less time in them. They are empty-nesters, and they don’t need 15,000 square feet.”
Ever the salesman, he adds: “This house is the perfect size.”
But this breed of buyers, in his view, still demands fine finishes, top-of-the-line amenities and the latest in smart-house technology.
“Those are the kind of things buyers want, just like having a new piece of technology in their hand,” he says. “It’s like buying (state-of-the-art) technology, but transferred over in terms of real estate.”
As an example, he points to what he describes as one of the house’s engineering feats: The 12-foot sliding glass doors in the living area. When closed, they offer a full view of the sea. But when wide open, one sees only a single 16-inch column in the expanse.
“Every day the oceanscape is different, with changing colors and intensity. When those sliding doors are open, there’s nothing like it,” he says. “You couldn’t get that before.”
A ride in the glass-walled elevator reflects more state-of-the-art engineering. “You can watch the ocean all the way up,” he says. “There’s less concrete and more steel. It’s a huge advancement.”
The house was built by RWB Construction Management, with landscaping by Green Edge, a Delray Beach landscaping firm.
The interiors were furnished and decorated by McKinney’s wife, Nilsa, who has her own eponymous design firm. Materials throughout include reclaimed teak, distressed mahogany, high-end wallpapers and hand-painted murals.
In keeping with design preferences of today’s high-end buyers, Frank McKinney said, the idea was to create a house with Zen-like appeal and rooms that weren’t overly ornate.
But there still are plenty of look-at-me design choices. On a pedestal in the living room is a sphere-shaped aquarium filled with — surprise! — small jellyfish. Lighted from within, the jellyfish undulate to and fro as water cascades down the exterior of the sphere into a rectangular trough filled with shimmering pieces of glass.
Also in the living room, the ribbon-style fireplace is set in mother of pearl. On the opposite side of the space, a wine-room wall fronts the elevator.
The kitchen, meanwhile, has 11,000-year-old lava countertops of brilliant blue imported from France and Neff cabinetry so painstakingly varnished, McKinney says, that it reflects the ocean. The shower in the marble master bathroom is enclosed in glass, with the ocean clearly in view.
To maximize space, the front door opens directly into the living area. To the north are the dining room, the staircase, the elevator, a media room, the kitchen and a bedroom suite. There’s also a three-car garage.
On the second floor, the master suite is in the north wing near the oceanfront gym and office. The master suite includes a room-size closet-and-dressing area and a bathroom with a glass shower that offers views through the bedroom to the ocean, 31 feet below. The bedroom opens to an oceanfront balcony.
South of the staircase and elevator on the second floor are two guest-bedroom suites that also open to a seaside balcony.
Step out of the elevator on the third floor and you’ll see walls decorated with images of rose-like flames because “heat rises,” McKinney says. “I wanted it to look like flames burning up to heaven.”
The elevator itself, by the way, pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon this month. The interior mimics the controls of the spaceship, along with a “black-hole” floor and a mural of McKinney as an astronaut, with his outstretched hand ready to push a button labeled “buy.”
But such over-the-top design choices are also grounded by real-world materials. Most of the floors, for instance, are covered in porcelain tile or marble, but the master bedroom floor is carpeted in a wool that’s free of dye and chemicals, McKinney says.
“Even the glue is made out of tree sap. No matter how sensitive or allergic you are, you are not going to sneeze. No toxins in my house; I’m big on keeping it clean.”
By Kristen Chapman
By Christine Davis
Sales numbers are looking especially good for Corcoran Group agent Steven Presson.
As of Aug. 2, Presson had completed 15 residential sales for his clients in 70 days, with combined sales totaling more than $36 million.
Presson, who specializes in luxury coastal real estate in Ocean Ridge and surrounding communities, has been ranked No. 2 out of the Corcoran Group’s 133 agents for the first quarter of 2018.
His recent sales include: $6.895 million for a lot near Briny Breezes; $5.032 million for a home at 913 N. Atlantic on Hypoluxo Island; $3.699 million for a beachside point lot at 53 Spanish River Drive, Ocean Ridge; $4.195 million for a panoramic waterfront estate at 27 Harbor Drive, Ocean Ridge; $1.695 million for a waterfront home at 62 Harbor Drive in Ocean Ridge; and $1.095 million for a waterfront land at 1508 Lake Drive in Delray Beach.
Briny Breezes residents will soon be neighbors with luxury townhome owners living on the south side of the oceanfront town.
In early June, Gulf Stream Views LLC paid $5.4 million for the nearly 2-acre site, according to county property records. The new owner, a division of National Realty Investment Advisors of Secaucus, N.J., borrowed $16.5 million to buy the parcel and build 14 townhomes.
“We have a luxury product. There are no other oceanfront parcels available in the area,” said Glenn La Mattina, senior vice president of National Realty and its new division, NR Living. “We have location, location, location.”
The price paid was almost 22 percent below the asking price of $6.895 million.
“The buyers came in and negotiated very friendly terms to the seller,” listing broker Steven Presson said. “My clients came to a point and made a business decision it was time to move on.”
David Rinker, who purchased the property in 2006 when it still housed the Pelican Apartments, paid $3.2 million for the parcel. The Old Florida-style, 11-unit complex was soon demolished. Rinker and investors planned to build Tuscan-style townhomes. He did not return phone messages.
The purchase is National Realty’s eighth in coastal Gulf Stream and Delray Beach, according to its website. Its divisions spent $37.3 million in the past year, according to county property records. National Realty’s website also lists one property each in Ocean Ridge and Delray Beach with a status of closing.
“We are building luxury units for sale or rental on the sites owned in southern Palm Beach County,” La Mattina said.
Most of the parcels have another local connection. Former Delray Beach Mayor Tom Carney’s law firm is listed as the registered agent for the limited liability corporations set up as the owner of each property. He declined to comment about his role, saying, “I don’t discuss my clients.”
National Realty also turned to a local lender for the bridge loan that covers acquisition and development of the townhomes near Briny Breezes. Trez Forman Capital Group was formed two years ago by Boynton Beach-based Forman Capital and Vancouver-based Trez Capital Group.
“I’ve known the borrowers for a long time. I started Forman Capital in 2004 in Delray Beach,” said Brett Forman, president and CEO.
His company is still optimistic about residential real estate in South Florida. “We look closely at the project and location,” Forman said. “People still want to move to South Florida.”
In mid-June, Trez Forman gave Sofa Partners a $20.6 million construction loan to build 111 First Delray, a boutique condo project in Delray Beach.
The name Gulf Stream Views comes from its oceanfront location, La Mattina said.
Site work will take place in July and construction will start in August, he said. The 14 luxury units will be ready in April 2020, La Mattina said. Preconstruction prices range from $1.8 million to $2.7 million.
Each three-story unit will have three bedrooms, an elevator, a splash pool, a two-car garage, a rooftop deck and 3,400 square feet of air-conditioned space.
Neighbor Mike Smollon, who lives in the County Pocket to the south, said, “It was inevitable that the parcel would be developed.”
He hopes the complex is constructed well and does not worsen the drainage problems in the County Pocket. With summer downpours the streets often flood, said Smollon, a retired Boynton Beach fire battalion chief.
“I believe in 10 years, we will look back on this as a landmark sale,” Presson said. “It not only will change the landscape but significantly increase property values in Briny Breezes and beyond.”
Other National Realty purchases, projects
• Closing on 6644 N. Ocean Blvd. The property now contains three condo units and sits across from the county’s Ocean Ridge Hammock Park. The parcel can hold four townhomes, according to Jamie Titcomb, town manager.
The condo owners have come in to discuss what can be built on the property. The land sits in a zoning district that is not subject to the town’s moratorium on building, he said.
• Paid $6.5 million in August 2017 for a lot at 3565 N. Ocean. The town says the new owner can build 7,326 square feet, including a 467-square-foot gatehouse.
• Paid $6.5 million in August 2017 for a .77-acre piece once owned by Delray Beach real estate investor Carl DeSantis. The new owner can build 8,705 square feet, including a 488-square-foot gatehouse, according to the town.
The town does not allow condos to be built along the ocean, said Rita Taylor, town clerk. Both parcels recently received permission to build single-family homes, she said.
• Paid $450,000 in September for 837 Denery Lane, which has a 1,706-square-foot home built in 1958. The house sits on .23 of an acre.
• Closing on 915 Bond Way with a 2,373-square-foot home built in 1958. The house sits on .28 of an acre. The National Realty website gives this description of its planned Palm Trail Townhomes there: two-unit luxury townhomes with 4,000 square feet each, four bedrooms and 4.5 baths, elevator, plunge pool, outdoor terrace and a club room.
The property is owned by Shovel Ready Investments LLC. Former Delray Beach Mayor Tom Carney’s law firm is listed as the registered agent on Florida corporate records. His firm also is the registered agent for the National Realty divisions in Palm Beach County.
• Paid $6.5 million in September for 707 N. Ocean Blvd. The property has a 4,042-square-foot home built in 1954 on .57 of an acre. A National Realty division submitted plans for a two-story, 7,994-square-foot home that sits mostly east of the Coastal Construction Control Line. That means the state Department of Environmental Protection would have to approve it. The department has allowed most such structures in the past.
• Paid $7.05 million in October for 344 N. Ocean Blvd. The property is .89 of an acre and has a house under construction.
The former owners, Albert and Tamara Rabil of Boca Raton, are involved in litigation with their builder and subcontractors over 176 change orders on the house with costs exceeding $9 million. On June 7, with 30 parties and 85 claims, the Rabils asked the judge to declare the case “complex” and set up a case management plan with non-binding arbitration and mediation. As of press time, no hearing date was set.
• Part of a $7.25 million purchase in July 2017 of 322 N. Ocean Blvd., 1239 Laing St. and 316 N. Ocean, for a total of .87 of an acre. These parcels have city approval to build a two-story, 6,310-square-foot home with five bedrooms, three-car garage and a pool; a two-story, 5,069-square-foot home with an elevator and pool; and a two-story, 5,451-square-foot home with five bedrooms, three-car garage and a pool.
• Paid $3.05 million in September for four parcels (302, 318, 338 and 346) totaling .88 of an acre on Southeast Fifth Avenue: 302 has two, one-story office buildings of 1,222 square feet each, 318 has a four-unit building of 4,130 square feet, 338 is vacant land and 346 has an 800-square-foot office building. As of press time, no plans were filed with the city.
Sources: Palm Beach County property appraiser, county clerk & comptroller and Delray Beach Planning, Zoning and Building Department
The almost 2-acre oceanfront parcel that once housed the Pelican Apartments along the former Dog Beach in the County Pocket will soon be home to Gulf Stream Views.
The property sale for the luxury townhome project is expected to close in mid-May, said real estate broker Steven Presson. It has been on the market for $6.895 million since last June.
“An investment group is coming down from the Northeast and looking to build 14 oceanfront townhomes,” Presson said.
The complex will sit on the west side of Old Ocean Boulevard, just south of Briny Breezes. Each townhome will have three stories, a driveway and a garage, according to plans submitted to the town of Briny Breezes. The townhomes will range in size from 3,351 to 3,386 square feet.
Seven townhomes will sit on each side of an access road, the plans show. The proposed complex has two buildings with three units each on the western part of the property and four buildings with two units each on the eastern side. The main entrance into Gulf Stream Views will be from Old Ocean Boulevard on the east side of the complex.
“I believe this will prove to be a valuable project that will not only enhance the Briny Breezes area,” Presson said, “but increase property values for all.”
Briny Breezes became involved because the soon-to-be owner needs town permission to make a cut into Briny Breezes Boulevard on the northern edge of the project to connect to Boynton Beach water lines, Town Manager Dale Sugerman said at the April 26 Town Council meeting.
The council may take up the request at its May 24 meeting.
The project’s owner received a tentative go-ahead from the county Department of Planning, Zoning & Building, subject to approval by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Two of Gulf Stream Views’ townhomes and parts of two others sit east of the state’s Coastal Construction Control Line. If past approvals of buildings proposed within the CCCL are any indication, the state will approve the Gulf Stream Views complex.
The city of Boynton Beach must approve the water and sewer plans.
Presson declined to comment further until after the sale closes. The property’s current owner, David Rinker, could not be reached for comment.
More than 14 years ago, the parcel abutted a section of Palm Beach County beach that was used informally as a dog beach, attracting dogs and their owners from surrounding communities and as far away as Broward County.
In July 2004, some nearby residents complained to Palm Beach County commissioners. They unanimously closed county parks and beaches to dogs.
Mike Smollon, a retired Boynton Beach fire lieutenant who lives south of the proposed Gulf Stream Views in the County Pocket, wonders how long the complex will take to complete.
“It will help our property values,” he said, “but it will increase our traffic.”
Of the land sitting empty next to the ocean, Smollon said the sale “was bound to happen. It’s a valuable piece of property that couldn’t sit vacant forever.”
Neighbor Marie Chapman hopes the new owners will reach out to the residents in the area and show their renderings.
“Key West-style of architecture will fit in with us,” she said, “but not industrial style.” Chapman also is concerned about how Gulf Stream Views will deal with its drainage plans. “Right now, it’s open land. When they build on it, that’s less land that will be available for drainage,” she said.
The homes south of the parcel are at a lower elevation and the streets usually flood with the summer downpours, she said.
“I’m excited to see what will go there,” Chapman said.
Steven Presson, recently rated among the the top 3% of realtors nationwide is proud to announce his new website: www.stevenpresson.com. His website is in keeping with his standard as technologically advanced and highly professional.
“The breadth and depth of the services and information are what differentiates this website from most others. We spent 6-months creating it so it’s extremely complete and incredibly user-friendly.”
It’s not easy being among the best in the nation at anything, and Steven Presson of Corcoran Group Real Estate in south Florida knows that.
Recently named in the top 3% of the more than 2-million realtors nationwide, Steven realized that to maintain his edge in his profession, maximizing his use of website and social media technology have become key factors in providing information and access to potential real estate clients not just in south Florida, but nationally and internationally is a requirement to be the best in his field.
When asked how he differentiated his new website from others, Presson said, “The breadth and depth of the services and information are what differentiates this website from most others. We spent 6-months creating it so it’s extremely complete and incredibly user-friendly.”
Our new site is designed to showcase luxury properties in south Florida in a way that out of state and international buyers can tour the homes directly, and divided the searches into the specific areas and local town offering upscale properties in the Palm Beaches, including: Delray Beach, Gulf Stream, Ocean Ridge, Palm Beach and Manalapan. We then went a step farther knowing that some buyers and investors want their properties to have direct access to the water or a beach by creating searches specifically for Ocean and Intracoastal homes that cover the entire County.
We’ve we’ve included information on local private resorts and clubs and for families with children a list of some of the best private schools in the area as well as details about those areas that provide beneficial information for people considering south Florida but live elsewhere.
Knowing that not everyone uses the same technology or operating system we designed our website to be very user-friendly and function seamlessly across multiple platforms including Windows, Mac, Android & I-Pad.
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Steven Presson was one of only 1,000 real estate professionals recognized by NRT for outstanding performance. That honor places him in the top 3% of the more than 2-million licensed realtors in the U.S. Steven is with The Corcoran Group Palm Beach.
“This award is a reflection of the trust and reliance of the many clients with whom I have had the pleasure of working and representing in their real estate needs and transactions.”
Bruce Zipf, President and CEO of NRT, LLC, a company that tracks real estate sales by company and agents nationwide named Steven Presson as one of the top 1000 Sales Associates for the first quarter of this calendar year.
Zipf noted that, “…the first quarter will be largely remembered for the extreme weather that affected most of the country and particularly our industry. The fact that you ‘weathered’ the literal storms, in addition to other challenging market conditions, is a testament to your resilience and professionalism.”
NRT’s CEO went on to praise Steven saying, “Your ability to adapt and serve your client’s real estate needs, whatever the business climate, make you the type of leader worthy of our recognition.”
Upon notification of being selected to receive this prestigious award, Mr. Presson said, “I’m honored to have been recognized as being among the best real estate professionals in the nation. This award is a reflection of the trust and reliance of the many clients with whom I have had the pleasure of working and representing in their real estate needs and transactions.”
Those who know Steven Presson eitehr personally or professionally can attest to the fact that he is one of the hardest working real estate professionals in the luxury home marketplace of south Florida and Palm Beach County. Steven is one of the most sought after realtors in the exclusive markets like Palm Beach, Manalapan, Gulf Stream, Ocean Ridge, Boca Raton, and Boynton Beach, and the reason why is evident in the 3-key words that he lives by as a true professional: Integrity. Persistence. Results.
Tour this exceptional waterfront property from the comfort of your own home. It’s a magnificent home and perfect for a primary residence or a 2nd home for your winter getaways to the warmth of the sun to be enjoyed on your own private beach.
“If you’re a buyer looking for a direct access Intracoastal home under $1.5-million with your own private beach…this home’s for you.”
The south Florida real estate market is booming. If you’re a discriminating buyer looking to acquire a primary residence or if a second home is more to your liking where you can escape the icy grip of winter, this is a prime examples of lifestyle available to you in the Palm Beaches.
Enjoy spacious living with gorgeous views in a low-traffic, highly secure direct ocean access waterfront property with your own private white sand beachfront with this incredible 4 bedroom 4.5 bathroom home with a 4-car garage on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Enter this Mediterranean style home through the solid 8-foot high wood doors into the 4500 square foot home with a beautiful blend of marble and Saturnia tile flooring, 24-foot ceiling in both the foyer and living room and 10-foot ceilings throughout the rest of this spacious first floor. Granite counters enhance the kitchen and all baths. The home is cooled by a 3-zone air conditioning system with individual 13 Sear A/C units. The pullout storage systems in the kitchen make organizing a breeze, and the central vacuum system is just one more added convenience.
Enjoy a magnificent eastern exposure, maximizing natural light through the use of high impact glass windows and doors. Spectacular views of the Intracoastal and your own private white-sand beach are further enhanced from your second floor, covered balcony and from lower level patio deck.
This property is approved for the addition of a boat dock that puts you only 5-minutes from open waters. If you prefer the more sedentary lifestyle, there’s room for your private pool, or simply enjoy the pleasures of your own white sand private beach, just a few feet from your brick-paved patio.
This incredible home with all of its features and amenities for under $1.5-million is one of the best buys for discriminating buyers of upscale property in Palm Beach County.
After you take the video tour, feel free to arrange for your own personal showing by contacting Steven Presson at 561-843-6057.[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”12511489″]
For we Rotarians, this is one of the best days of the year. It’s like the Super Bowl of Giving because we get to make a difference in the lives of a number of students right here in our own community.
Steven Presson, a successful realtor Palm Beach County is also very involved in his community and in local civic projects.
He and his wife Kimberly have 2-sons, and they are both deeply committed to giving back to their community through the various nonprofit and charitable organizations in which they are involved.
As the president of Rotary Club of Palm Beach Steven recently announced at their annual scholarship awards luncheon. “Our club is proud to have successfully raised and distributed more than $40,000 in educational scholarships to local Palm Beach County students.
Many of the recipients of these awards are incredible in their dedication to helping others. One of our 17-year old winners gave over 1200-documented community service hours. Being around young people like her is truly a humbling experience.
We look forward to continuing our fundraising efforts and we’re certain that this year’s recipients will make the most of this investment in their educational future.”
Steven knows how important it is to walk the talk, and he spends a great deal of time doing what he can to find ways to provide others less fortunate with a “hand up” that might help put them on a path that will impact their lives and futures in a very positive way.
While family and work are the primary focus for Presson, he manages to make the time necessary to remain a good role model in his community by giving his time and talents for causes that reflect the basic tenet of Rotary, Service Above Self.
Steven can be reached at his business number (561) 843-6057.
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