PALM BEACH — The landscape is changing in a particularly ritzy part of Palm Beach as building plans for two lots—515 N. Ocean Boulevard and 535 N. County Road—came before the Architectural Commission.
The two lots (together with a 3rd lot) were subdivided from a property sold in 2008 by now-president Donald Trump for $95 million, the largest residential sale from a single seller to a single buyer in Palm Beach history. The buyer was a company associated with Russian investor Dmitry Rybolovlev, who has since sold the two lots to other buyers.
Rybolovlev was approved to tear down the mansion that previously occupied the lot at 515 N. Ocean Boulevard last year, and the property’s new owner (whose identity is unknown, having purchased the lot through a trust) was subsequently approved to put up a 6-bedroom home with a 2-bedroom guest house and 18,500 square feet of space to occupy in total. The mysterious owner purchased the 2.35-acre parcel of land for a whopping $34.34 million.
The mansion-to-be was designed by Bridges, Marsh & Associates, and borders the home of TV surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz.
“It’s more of a contemporary look with a traditional theme and classical elements,” said the home’s architect Mark Marsh. In making his pitch to the Architectural Commission, Marsh noted that his client wanted “a sense of arrival” from the design, which takes advantage of the beachfront property’s ocean view.
The house will largely be in shades of gray, but will feature more colorful accents and mahogany-framed windows. The grounds will be every bit as impressive as the mammoth home, with large, well-manicured lawns and an outdoor living area boasting a pool and pavilion.
“The desire of the owners is to be able to live as open and casually,” Marsh stated.
The Commission was less impressed with the contemporary-style home proposed for 535 N. County Road, owned now by a company associated with developer Mark Pulte of Boca Raton’s Mark Timothy Inc.
“Let’s address the elephant in the room,” said Alternate Commissioner John David Corey. “Is this house ‘excessively dissimilar’?”
The term refers to a designation commissioners can apply when denying projects. The home—designed by Bill Boyle of Boyle Architecture PLLC—was criticized by the Commission for its size and overall design. Ultimately, the project was deemed to be further reviewed in January, perhaps subject to revisions.
Meanwhile, Rybolovlev still controls the 3rd of the lots in the subdivision.
No doubt President Trump is hoping that this is his only Russian deal in the news for awhile.