Another Palm Beach house — this one built in the late 1920s in Midtown — has changed hands for substantially more than it sold for during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.
The house at 177 Clarke Avenue just sold for $14.75 million – a 152 percent increase over the price the house fetched in December 2020, according to the deeds. The latter sale was off market and recorded at $5.9 million, courthouse records show. The house had undergone interior renovations between the two sales.
New York City residents James Coleman Baker and his wife, Veronica, were the buyers in the sale recorded June 7. A man by that name is an attorney who has spent most of his career at the asset-management firm Neuberger Berman, where he is a managing director.
On the seller’s side was businessman and longtime Palm Beach resident Bruce M. Taylor. He sold the house as successor trustee of a trust in the name of his late wife, Jackie Sue Taylor, which was used to buy the house in 2020. Taylor and his present wife, Catherine, reside in a lakeside home across town at 6 Lagomar Road.
Purchased in 2016:Bruce Taylor buys South End lakefront estate on Lagomar Road for $12.5 million
Big deal on the North End:Palm Beach mansion resold for recorded $85.98 million after fetching $64M last year
The two-story, Mediterranean-style house on Clarke Avenue stands on a lot measuring about four-tenths of an acre on the northeast corner of South County Road, a few blocks north of Royal Palm Way. Direct access to the ocean is a block east on Clarke Avenue.
The house has 8,074 square feet of living space, inside and out, property records show.
After the 2020 sale, crews “refreshed” the interiors for use as a guesthouse, Bruce Taylor said Monday.
“We were originally going to use it as a second home for when friends and family came to visit,” he said.
But as has happened a lot lately in Palm Beach’s bustling real estate market — where prices have soared dramatically — the opportunity to sell proved irresistible.
Agent Gregory Weadock of Brown Harris Stevens listed the house in November and had it priced at $15.5 million when it sold.
Privacy hedges, he noted, shield much of the house from the gaze of passersby on busy South County Road.
“If you didn’t know the house was there, you’d never know the house was there,” Weadock said.
Another big value jump:Sold in early 2020 for $5.5 million, Palm Beach house fetches $13.55 million, deeds show
Heard the latest? Read more Palm Beach real estate news
The house’s layout includes a living room measuring 28-by-25 feet, a paneled library and a formal dining room with a bay window and fireplace. With garden and pool views, the updated kitchen includes dual sinks, high-end appliances and a breakfast area. Accessing the covered poolside loggia, the family room has a beamed ceiling and a wet bar.
And on the second floor, the master suite has broad balcony. Above the two-car garage are two bedrooms for guests.
Agent Nick Grodzicki of Compass Florida acted for the buyers. He declined to comment on the transaction, and the Bakers couldn’t be reached.
The house has never earned landmark protection, and the Bakers’ plans for the property are unclear.
With ties to Oklahoma, Bruce Taylor has been involved in a number of business ventures in the Midwest and Tulsa, Oklahoma, including software, retail, banking, construction and manufacturing.
In the 2020 sale, Weadock represented Taylor’s interests and worked closely with agent Wahkuna Vega of William Raveis South Florida to market the house for the seller — investor and entrepreneur Misbah M. Ahdab of Chevy Chase, Maryland. Ahdab had been associated with the ownership of the property since 2002, when the house changed hands for a recorded $2.9 million.
Darrell Hofheinz is a USA TODAY Network of Florida journalist who writes about Palm Beach real estate in his weekly “Beyond the Hedges” column. He welcomes tips about real estate news on the island. Email [email protected], call (561) 820-3831 or tweet @PBDN_Hofheinz. Help support our journalism. Subscribe today.