Renovated Palm Beach house built by Hufty family sells for $18 million

Renovated Palm Beach house built by Hufty family sells for $18 million


A landmarked Palm Beach house on the street that connects South County Road to Everglades Island has changed hands for more than $17 million.

The house, at 330 Island Road, was rebuilt by the seller and the transaction marks only its third sale since it was built nearly 80 years ago. The sale recorded today at $17.68 million.

A limited liability company linked to real estate investors Arthur F. Minerof and Lawrence Genco sold the red-brick house, according to preliminary information about the sale posted on the Palm Beach County Clerk’s website. The deed lists the seller as Milan E.A.T. LLC.

A trust was on the buyer’s side, with Palm Beach attorney Robert G. Simses serving as trustee. Simses declined to comment, and no other information about the 330 Island Road Trust was immediately available.

The two-story house stands on a half-acre lot with about 126 feet of waterfront. The rear of the house looks southward across a lagoon that opens to the Intracoastal Waterway. On the north side, doors and windows overlook the Everglades Golf Course. The house has six bedrooms and 9,795 square feet of living space, inside and out, according to property records.

With two fireplaces and an elevator, the house had been listed for sale since November 2015, initially priced at $27.5 million but ultimately reduced to $19.99 million. Corcoran Group agents Paulette Koch and Dana Koch had the listing.

Sotheby’s International Realty agents Christine Gibbons and Lisa Cregan handled the buyer’s side of the deal, according to the updated sales listing in the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

The house was designed in 1939 by the firm of noted society architect Maurice Fatio for the late Standard Oil scion and conservationist Frances Archbold Hufty and her late husband, Mann Randolph Page Hufty. It was owned by the Hufty family until Frances Hufty’s estate sold it in 2011 to Milan E.A.T. LLC, for $6.9 million. She was the granddaughter of John Archbold, one of the founders of Standard Oil. She died in November 2010 at 98.

In early 2012, the house was designated a town landmark, which protects the look of its exterior from significant alterations. Milan E.A.T. voluntarily submitted the property for landmarking, town records show. Records also show the company participated in a program that provides a 10-year property-tax exemption for qualifying improvements to landmarked structures.That exemption transferred with the sale.

Palm Beach architect Gene Pandula oversaw the renovation and restoration project, which kept the house’s footprint intact. Completed in 2015, the complex project involved rebuilding the house brick by brick — using original bricks augmented by replacements — and raising the foundation to meet flood-plain regulations.

“This was probably one of the two or three most technically challenging projects we’ve ever done,” Pandula said this week.

The renovation also enclosed an open-air pavilion to serve as a loggia and cabana. A new dining area also replaced a 1955 dining addition designed by society architect John L. Volk, and the second floor layout was revised to turn bedrooms into suites.

Pandula noted that keeping the streetside appearance of the house intact was “important to the integrity of Island Road and the architecture of the street.”

The limited liability company that sold the house is managed by West Palm Beach attorney Michael A. Gelfand, representing The Milan Associates LP, state business records show.

Minerof and Genco have longtime ties to New York City and the Hamptons, where they have been involved in a variety of real estate projects.

They also have bought and sold Palm Beach real estate properties through ownership companies.

In 2007, records show, they were among the investors who sold an oceanfront house a 5 Via Los Incas for $17 million. And in 2011, they were involved in the $17.05 million sale of the house next door, also on the ocean, at 6 Via Los Incas.

The house is just one-and-a-half rooms deep, which allows rooms throughout to offer views of either the water or the golf course. Because of its position on Island Road, the house also is flooded with sunlight on clear days.

“We bought the lot because it was the only spot we could find where you got sunlight all day long,” Frances Hufty told writer and historian Augustus Mayhew in a 2009 interview for an article about the development of Everglades Island.

The Koch team’s sales listing described the house as “a perfect marriage of space, exceptional finishes and a prized location” convenient to Worth Avenue.

Raising the foundation of the house delayed construction for more than a year, resulting in the town levying code-enforcement fines against the ownership company when the project exceeded its allotted 30-month time-frame. The Town Council ultimately reduced the fines from $262,485 to $50,000 in 2015, with officials praising the high-quality of the restoration.

“Had anybody else bought it, I think it would have been torn down and we would have lost a landmark,” then-Councilman Robert Wildrick said during a hearing about the fines.

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