A coveted scratch of waterfront property will soon sprout three ultra-luxury condos by prolific and charismatic builder Dan Catalfumo, who calls The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Palm Beach Gardens “his legacy.”
About 11 acres along the Intracoastal Waterway at PGA Boulevard that was once home to Panama Hattie’s Seafood House and Rum Bar is the site for Catalfumo’s latest development, which he describes as 106 opulent “residences in the sky.”
Although the proposal, which includes a marina and 23 boat slips, still faces a final approval in May by Palm Beach County commissioners, Catalfumo is confident it will be endorsed.
“It’s going through the process, but everyone loves it. It’s zoned for 128 units – we’re only dong 106,” Catalfumo said. “I’ve had this vision to do something that hasn’t been done before, and we’re going full steam ahead.”
The six-story buildings on the east side of the Intracoastal south of PGA Boulevard will have 850 feet of waterfront with boat slips available for vessels up to 75 feet long. Amenities include an infinity-edge pool, spa, fitness center, waterfront clubhouse, lounge and on-site concierge services. Plans call for 350 underground parking spaces.
With prices starting at $4 million, buyers can choose from eight-floor plans ranging from 3,100 to 5,000 square feet. Units include 12-foot wraparound balconies, open floor plans showcasing panoramic waterfront views, a smart-home control system and chef-worthy kitchens.
“We had a professional chef come in and look at the floor plans and he was really impressed,” Catalfumo said. “I told him, ‘I’m Italian – I cook every night.'” Catalfumo said he finished assembling a handful of properties in October with a deed filed reflecting a purchase of seven parcels for $33 million.
The project site has a tumultuous history. Previous owner and Harbourside Place developer Nicholas Mastroianni III faced criticism for demolishing Panama Hattie’s, which closed in 2014. Later, Palm Beach Gardens sued Palm Beach County over its approval for 70 condos originally submitted by Mastroianni for the site, which has remained vacant.
Catalfumo also traveled a bumpy road after the 2007 recession forced him to sell off properties and tussle with lenders to settle debts. But in 2019, he was back with plans for PGA Station at the southeast corner of PGA Boulevard and RCA Boulevard, where he’s building 400 apartments and a new office building.
He said he wants The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Palm Beach Gardens to be upscale elegance beyond what anyone has seen in Palm Beach County – a tall order considering the posh homes of tony Palm Beach, Jupiter Island and Manalapan.
“We truly said we want something that can’t be reproduced,” Catalfumo said. “If you can dream it, we’ve got it. It’s that simple.”
Brad Hunter, president of Hunter Housing Economics, said there is a huge demand for new luxury waterfront development in Palm Beach County.
“The luxury condo market has been strong for decades, so that’s not entirely new, but I will say also that the luxury market in Palm Beach County is absolutely on fire now because of the influx of people we’ve seen from New York and other points in the Northeast,” Hunter said. “It’s a continuation of a trend, but it’s been thrown into high gear.”
Hunter noted companies such as Goldman Sachs bringing well-paid workers to Palm Beach County as one reason for the uptick in demand for luxury housing. Other financial services and private equity firms including Point 72and Elliott Management are putting down roots in West Palm Beach.
Last month, the leader of mortgage lender NewDay USA bought the entire 7-story Crystal condominium on the Intracoastal in West Palm Beach for $16.92 million. NewDay USA is expected to bring 600 jobs to Palm Beach County. It was unclear last month what the new building, which had never been lived in, will be used for.
“The market is 100% there right now, especially in the luxury sector,” said Talbot Sutter, president and broker of Sutter and Nugent real estate. “We just listed a $4.5 million condo in The Bear’s Club and have people seeing it from all over the world.”
The Bear’s Club is an upscale gated golf community in Jupiter.In March, 148 condominiums or townhomes sold for $1 million or more, according to a report from Florida Realtors. That’s an 18% increase in that price range from March 2021. About 295 single-family homes sold for $1 million or more last month, which is a 6.5% increase from the previous year.
Kevin Spina, director of The Spina Group at the Keyes Company, which is handling sales for the The Ritz-Carlton Residences Palm Beach Gardens, said the development’s more than 800 feet of waterfront is “unheard of” in northern Palm Beach County.
“You cannot beat this location,” Spina said.
The sales center for The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Palm Beach Gardens is scheduled to open in June, with the residences finished by late 2024. Residences start at $4M with pre-sales to commence June 1st. The project is slated to break ground in the third quarter of 2022.
As Featured in The Palm Beach Post, Contributed by Kimberly Miller.
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