Tuesday, October 17, 2017

THE BREAKERS IS GROWING , GOING UPSCALE, AND PALM BEACH TOO, AS WELL



The Frisbee Group is developing the former Testa property, at the east end of Royal Poinciana Way, as you may have heard.  Many new condos will be going up, and underground parking built-in, a much-needed project.




The Breakers Hotel, a Palm Beach gem, has entered into an agreement with The Frisbie Group to buy the commercial ground floor of the mixed-use development for a restaurant and retail space.  ETA is 2020.  The Frisbie Group will retain ownership of the 2nd-floor luxury condos to be built there.  The plan is for the condos to have four or five bedrooms.  The public areas and parking garage will be owned by The Breakers.  Some refer to this area as Palm Beach’s Main Street, and with the new changes coming, that is predictable.



Location is at the north end of the Breakers golf course between the ocean and Cocoanut Row.  The Testa Family’s restaurant opened in 1947 and quickly became a popular eatery where you could eat outside (and watch the passing parade) or inside.  They may open a new restaurant on the site or elsewhere.

The Flagler Memorial Bridge, after undergoing about five years of fixup, has completed construction and that may revive the historic Royal Poinciana Plaza, with its restaurants, real estate offices and more.  Renovations in Bradley Park, including moving beautiful large historic tree there, and other additions and changes are being made.  


The area may become as booming as Worth Avenue, which is adding Lilly Pulitzer, an art gallery, a salon, and a café.  You won’t find Cartier, Tiffany, and Hermes there anymore, but there are still plenty of beautiful upscale shops and some great restaurants, like Taboo.  Look forward to celebrations of all the openings that will be coming.  Enjoy the essence of Palm Beach and attend as many openings as possible.  Whether you live in Palm Beach or just love to eat and shop there, be part of the fun.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

I THINK THAT I SHALL NEVER SEE - A POEM AS LOVELY AS A TREE


The generous donation of a historic buttonwood tree that originated in Phipps Park in Palm Beach and was just moved to Bradley Park was made by Steven Levin, who paid for the moving by barge of the 42,000 lb tree from his property on North Lake Way.  Mr. Levin will pay $2000/year for maintenance for five years.

Stretching 35’ high and 50’ across, the man in charge of the physical move, Sean Jacobus, has been moving trees for many years and said this was the most magnificent one he has moved.  He has worked on the tree for six months to get it ready to move.  It was lifted and placed on a barge and will be placed and positioned in the same alignment toward the sun that it had in its original location.

Orchids grow throughout the branches of this historic tree.   It is now in the northwest corner of Bradley Park, and a variety of birds is busy examining it already.

Dedicated Palm Beachers are interested in preservation, particularly of historic items.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Is Baseball your game?


Take me out to the ballgame…. At THE BALLPARK OF THE PALM BEACHES.

Take your pick: Watch the NY Mets, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins.  

Located at 5444 Haverhill Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33407.  

  

Google Ballpark of the Palm Beaches or call 800-840-9227.

Have a great day!



Friday, August 18, 2017

THE FORMER JOHN KLUGE ESTATE HAS BEEN SPLIT INTO FIVE LOTS



One lot is under contract and the other four are available for sale.  Prices range from $6.895mm to $14.495mm.  The plat won approval in July.  Total acreage is 3.4.  The location is South County Road at the northeast corner of El Bravo Way, four blocks from Worth Avenue.

The developer who owns the properties might develop homes there himself or with others. He paid $39mm and purchased the property from Columbia University.  Kluge had bequeathed the property to Columbia University.

This is the first major subdivision in recent memory in the Estate Section of Palm Beach Island.

Photo is courtesy of Christian Angle Real Estate.

Friday, August 11, 2017

THESE SIX HOUSEPLANTS WILL CLEAN THE AIR



You spend a lot of time focusing on what you eat and how it impacts your health. But there’s more to being healthy than what we put into our stomachs.
Here are just a few of the essentials:
·       You need to give your body the right amount of rest.
·       You need to stimulate your mind and expose yourself to beauty.
·       You need to make sure that the air that you breathe is healthy and clean.
Did you know that there are house plants that can meet all those needs? It’s true!
No matter how well you clean your home or how organic the products you buy, toxins in the air are hard to wipe away.
Some can cause allergic reactions and illness. But there are houseplants that remove impurities from the air while they help add to the warmth and serenity of your environment.
They’re easy to find and inexpensive too!
By adding any of these green beauties to your home you can give yourself greater peace of mind and cleaner air to breathe.

1. Boston Fern
Boston Ferns are the most efficient air filtering plant you can buy.
They’re also available for purchase everywhere… chances are good that if your supermarket sells plants, they will sell Boston Ferns.
Keeping a Boston Fern healthy is pretty simple. Give it a dose of plant food once a month and water it regularly. If you live in a dry area, you should mist it once a day too.

2. Palm Trees

These tropical beauties are very good at removing toxins like formaldehyde from the air.
The Dwarf Date is best of all, but other good choices include the Parlor Palm, a Bamboo Palm or a Lady Palm. Palm Trees will flourish in a sunny spot in your home.

3. Rubber Plant
If you think your home doesn’t get enough light to sustain a plant, try a Rubber Plant or a 
They don’t need much sun and they do a great job of cleaning the air.

4. English Ivy
This is another plant that is sold just about everywhere.
Though most people think of English Ivy as a climbing plant that lives outdoors, if you keep it inside it will stay pretty compact.
It needs very little care – just water and mist once a week or so – and it will keep your air free of toxins and mold.
In fact, a study showed that it cuts airborne mold by 94%.

5. Peace Lily
There are a lot of good reasons for choosing a Peace Lily for your home.
This beautiful plant needs very little light and will bloom all year long. It is good at removing all types of harsh gases, and even adds humidity to the air.

6. Aloe Vera

This spiky succulent is not only good at improving your air quality: you can also use the gel that flows through its leaves to help speed healing.
It’s an especially good plant to keep in the kitchen to quickly soothe the pain from burns.
Yours in health and happiness,
Danette May
America’s Leading Healthy Lifestyle Expert

Friday, July 21, 2017

REMEMBER THIS ONE: “I THINK THAT I SHALL NEVER SEE A POEM AS LOVELY AS A TREE.”



We have a beautiful historic green buttonwood tree, 80-100 years old that will soon move from Steven Levin’s property on Lake Avenue, south of Bradley Park, to a prominent position in Bradley Park, with the Town Council’s approval.  It was once part of the Phipps Estate.

Mr. Levin will pay the $50,000 cost of moving the tree and five years of an estimated $2000 for tree maintenance. This lovely Park is undergoing beautification.  It is expected to be completed by November and includes a new entrance, four gardens, a gazebo overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, a granite path and new restrooms. The park’s 2-foot Artemis statue also will be moved and its damaged figurine recast.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017



TRAVEL CHANNEL.COM named Palm Beach as one of the top 10 beaches in Florida.


The easternmost town in all of Florida, Palm Beach is lined with its namesake majestic trees and loaded with beautiful beachfront properties, high-end hotels and sprawling resorts.
This 16-mile-long, half-mile-wide island is the epitome of wealth and extravagance. In times past, it served as the winter home to the Vanderbilts, the Kennedys, the Rockefellers and other millionaires. True to form, the town still features some of Florida’s finest hotels, restaurants and shops, as well as beautiful beaches. Perched next to the Gulf Stream, this beach town also enjoys the extra benefit of warm blue water and gentle breezes.

Monday, July 10, 2017

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME




The Shiny Sheet, in their July 9, 2017 issue, references Laurel Baker, Executive Director of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce re ideas about revitalizing the 3.92 square miles of Palm Beach to “recapture its sense of place.”

Landmarks and gardens have been restored and preserved by the Preservation Foundation and the Garden Club. The Frisbies (working to update Testa’s Restaurant and re-do fading buildings and empty spaces along Royal Poinciana Way) and UpMarkets (who are trying to bring performances back to the Royal Poinciana Playhouse) are making transformations but not without frivolous lawsuits.
Here is a list of recommendations listed in the Shiny Sheet with my edits in parentheses:
* Studies – spending more and more money to affirm/confirm what is already recognized is poor stewardship and planning. Thirty years and three studies [but] traffic and parking problems [still] exist. Clearly, alternative means of transportation/parking are needed.  (I read that the new downtown Palm Beach condos that will be built by the Frisbies will have parking facilities but more ideas are needed to get shoppers into the area.)
* Exclusivity – for any suggestion made, the response has been “…that’s so West Palm Beach…” Re Trolleys that move 600,000 people a year create more parking and cut down on traffic. Should they really be dismissed out of hand? (Note that West Palm Beach is adding several expensive condo developments, and it is reported that some Palm Beachers are selling their mansions – which perhaps will be torn down and rebuilt by the new owners - moving to those buildings on the intracoastal waterway. The scenario is changing in favor of West Palm Beach and we are waiting to see the buildings go up and become completed that Jeff Greene has in his portfolio. Communities such as Westlake are being developed in the northwest area, and are becoming cities of their own.)
* Beautification – clean and tidy is essential but does not necessarily equate to beauty if designs are stifled. Palm Beach should ooze luxury, beauty, and abundance. Bring on the wow. Bring back the fun.  (Preservation Foundation is doing that, a real good start to more restoration and beautification.)
* Ancestor worship – times have changed but many of the outdated legislation remains, particularly the proof of being “town serving” (defined by something that will NOT attract people from across the bridge).The big stores came, the small ones were pushed out. Until recently, Palm Beach institutions such as Testa’s, Mildred Hoit, C. Orrico and The Church Mouse have still been required to submit annual reports to prove themselves town-serving. Really?  (Be careful or they will move to West Palm Beach too.)
Let’s take this small, rich enclave of well-to-do, educated, high-achievers and get real, get positive and get going.
* Acknowledge the good that is here and make it better
* Initiate from the positive, eliminate the negative. Palm Beach cannot go back to the 1950s and ’60s.
* Recognize that big changes occurred in the 1980s that forever altered the town
* Invest in the town – bring back some of the small shops from the past, whether it was a coffee shop, small boutique, bakery or home delivery service.  (It is still difficult to get a table for lunch at Greene’s Drug Store.)
* Talk with others about positive opportunities. The chamber, Civic Association, Garden Club, Preservation Foundation, Citizens’ Association and Town Council are really all on the same page, looking to make Palm Beach all that it can and should be. (Join some of these organizations and contribute great ideas… and some money.)
The greater threat facing the town is the continued loss of retail/commercial activities. Density is not bad – it brings more goods and services to a community and keeps taxes down. Ease of moving about the town creates greater engagement and a better sense of community. (What are the specific moving about the town ideas? Buses? Are Uber and Lyft working there? Not everyone wants to ride on a Segway.)
This year's overwhelmingly new development is having a sitting President with a home in Palm Beach.
One thing is for sure.  When Palm Beach residents get really involved, things get done and beautifully so.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Keep Your Patio Furniture Looking Its Best

It's the time of year when the days are longer and outdoor furniture comes out of storage. Whether you lounge in handcrafted teak Adirondack chairs or pull up your favorite metal frame seat to your vintage glass-top table, patio furniture requires some necessary maintenance. Read on for our seven tips for maintaining your patio furniture.



1. Clean it periodically to prevent dirt and debris from dulling the finish. Regardless of the material, the finish will eventually lose its sheen if left unattended. Besides that, you don't want pollen pants after sitting down on an unkempt chair in the springtime.
For that initial cleaning at the start of patio season, do not be afraid to rent a power washer. You'll save time and elbow grease by enlisting the help of a power washer in that scrub session.

2. Cover patio furniture when you're not using it. Sun, wind and rain will eventually take their toll on fabrics, paint and stain. Using a custom cover or all-purpose tarp will help extend the life of your furnishings.

3. Keep rust under control by addressing the problem as soon as you notice it. If you're in a humid climate, your metal patio furniture (or components like nails) is susceptible to rust. The brown, flaky stuff is the result of exposure to oxygen and moisture, unavoidable for outdoor furniture. Grab some WD-40 and a wire brush and scrape off the iron oxide before it spreads.

4. Mildew is not your friend for many reasons. It's smelly and unsightly and can cause health problems. It is a survivor, though, and will cling to surfaces like gum on the bottom of your shoe. Mildew does not fare well in the presence of vinegar or baking soda. Both readily available agents will eliminate blight on the surface and the interior of cushions. Plus, you can use it to clean umbrellas or other colorful accessories without the adverse effects of bleach.

5. Paint is your friend when it comes to maintaining your patio furniture. If your metal table and chairs need a facelift, grab a few cans of spray paint formulated for outdoor use. Refresh the appearance with minimal monetary investment.
6. Water always wins. Even if the fabric or treatment claims to be waterproof, at some point water will penetrate the coating. If at all possible, move furnishings indoors when the season is over. Inside is also the best place to avoid damage from high winds and hail.

7. Table glass looks best when you can see through it. Prevent scratches, residue buildup and other blemishes by grabbing the rubbing alcohol and newspaper. Pour or spray liberally and wipe down with something you can recycle.

Whether you're cleaning for houseguests or planning to list your home for sale, connect with me for more ways to keep your home in tiptop shape.




UPDATE ON TESTA AREA GROWTH


We have to take the bad with the good.  The downtown Testa’s area will be a tough place to park for some time to come as the Frisbee group starts work on their forthcoming project.  Build-out is projected to be four years, with construction starting this coming October, and concerned folks want that reduced to two years. It was pointed out the Neiman Marcus' new building went up in two years.  New retail buildings will go up and condos, with an underground parking garage, and then life will be easier in the area, with new offerings, a favorite of many Palm Beachers.

Testa’s Restaurant opened in 1921 as a 13-seat soda fountain in the lobby of the old Garden Theater on Main Street, now Royal Poinciana Way and has grown and grown into a steady eaterie for Palm Beachers and visitors to the Island.

Parking and sidewalk access will present temporary problems. Other concerns are construction hours, lighting, security, pedestrian safety, traffic and other work-related issues. All agree it will be dusty and dirty for a while. Construction workers will park off the Island and be bused in.

Six buildings with retail on the ground floor will go up.  The second floor will have homes and there will be gardens, vias and courtyards.  A new restaurant is included and the underground parking garage. 

Once completed everybody will be/should be happy.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

WELL RECOGNIZED FATIO PALM BEACH HOME EARNS AWARDS



One of the most recognized properties along the ocean in Palm Beach is this 1928 residence, nicknamed “the ham and cheese house.” The Society Architect was Maurice Fatio.  It was the alternating horizontal bands of coral keystone and red brick on its facades that gave the property that nickname.

There are eight bedrooms and 16090 living sq ft.

The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach’s 2016 Ballinger Award for historically sensitive renovation was given to the property. Now The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation has bestowed a 2017 Meritorious Award on the property. It was given landmark protection in 1979.

Homeowners Penny and Marion Hugh Antonini spent two years renovating and restoring. The Antoninis’ renovation preserved original Fatio elements such as elaborately carved stonework, beamed-and-coffered ceilings and Cuban-tile floors. The project also lightened up the interiors with a modern color scheme of cream paired with light pinks, blues and greens.

A new kitchen, manufactured to specifications in Italy, was shipped to Florida and assembled on site. The roof was replaced, impact-resistant windows installed, and work was done on the swimming pool and beachfront cabana, reached through a tunnel under the coastal road. The central courtyard around which the house was designed was completely reworked.

New glass was installed in the living room’s carved-stone arched windows. As a result of an installation system devised through trial and error, the glass seems to disappear entirely so that the arches resemble an open cloister framing views of the ocean.

It remains a monument to the architecture and glamour of the 1920’s.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Best Way to Clean Hardwood Floors



Many homeowners love hardwood floors not only for their look and durability, but also because they're simple to clean—at least relative to carpet, tile, and many other surfaces. But maintaining spick-and-span hardwood floors isn't quite as simple as it may seem, which leaves many homeowners wondering: What's the best way to clean hardwood floors, anyway?
“There’s a responsibility that comes with owning a wood floor,” says Brett Miller, vice president of education and certification for the National Wood Flooring Association in St. Louis. “People who haven’t had a wood floor before don’t always consider the importance of properly maintaining those floor coverings.”
If you want to keep your hardwood floors looking their best, here are the steps to take.
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Remove debris regularly
Your first line of defense is to remove dirt and debris as quickly and often as possible. Even the smallest specks of dirt act like sandpaper, and can scratch the floor's surface and make it look dull. So make sure to vacuum or sweep regularly—ideally once every two to three days, or more for high-traffic areas, says Miller. If you vacuum, use the hard surface setting on your machine, which turns off the beater bar and lowers the vacuum to the floor for better suction power.
Wipe spills immediately
Hardwood floors may look impervious to spills compared with carpet, but certain substances can actually eat away at the top coat of polish on your floor. Some common offenders include milk, mustard, and pet urine. So if Fido or Fluffy isn't fully house trained, make sure to pick up after accidents pronto.
Mop the right way
A damp (but not sopping) mop can also help keep a hardwood floor clean, provided you use the right cleaner (more on what not to use next). Most wood floor installers or manufacturers recommend cleaners that contain isopropyl alcohol, which dries quickly, and are available at home supply stores.
To make your own solution for a monthly clean, add a capful of white vinegar to a gallon of water, which will help dissolve grease and grime on the floor, but not strip the finish. To remove shoe scuffs, rub marks with a tennis ball, which cleans without scratching the finish.
Whatever you do, do not clean wood floors with a steam mop, Miller says. “Steam is horrible for wood floors. It opens the pores in woods and damages the finish, causing irreversible damage to any wood floor.”
Use the right cleaning products
“Wood is probably the easiest floor covering to keep clean, but you have to use the right cleaning products,” says Miller. In fact, contrary to what you might think, he adds, “anything that says ‘polish’ or ‘shine’ indicates you’re adding a layer of something to the floor, and it’s not a protective coating.”
The result? Your floor might look shiny right after you're done, but it will quickly smear and look dull (prompting you to clean your floors again). So when in doubt, stick with cleaning solutions recommended by a hardwood floor specialist rather than what's being hawked at your average grocery store.
And if it still doesn't look clean...

If vacuuming and mopping don’t restore the luster to your hardwood floors, it may not be due to lack of elbow grease. Eventually, wood floors withstand enough damage that they should be refinished—meaning the top layer of wood is sanded down to remove marks, then covered with sealant. Hardwood floors should be resealed about once every 10 years, or every two to five years if they get substantial traffic from kids or pets.

Monday, May 1, 2017

FLORIDA IS NUMBER ONE STATE FOR RETIREES TO MOVE TO

Florida is the most desirable state for retirees, according to a new report.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, SmartAsset determined which states that retirees are leaving and flocking to, analyzed by MarketWatch.




The report cites Florida's warm weather, beaches and the fact that it is one of seven states that doesn't tax individual income.

The states retirees are leaving in the highest numbers are New York, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Monday, March 27, 2017

BILL & MELINDA GATES HOME IN SEATTLE

“XANADU 2.0” IS AWESOME

·       Costing $60MM, it took seven years to build; Bill Gates also bought several surrounding houses for about $14.4MM.  The home has 24 bathrooms. Annual property tax is over $1MM.

·       Pool measures 60’x17’ and has a fossil-motif floor and underwater music system.  Locker room has 4 showers and 2 baths. Dive into the pool and you can come up by an outdoor terrace, going under a glass wall. Fitness gym is 2500 sq ft;  trampoline room has 20’ ceiling.   There is an elevator, but if you are into fitness, set your fitbit and head up or down the 84 steps from the entrance to the ground floor.

·       1000 sq ft dining room seats 24. 150 people can be fed dinner or 200 can be at a cocktail party in the 2300 sq ft reception hall.  Guests receive a pin that interacts with room sensors and can change to your preference the temperature, music and lighting.  This was built in 1995.

·      Guest house has 1 bedroom, 1 bath and is 1900 sq ft.

·       The grounds include an artificial stream and wetland estuary stocked with salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout. The sand on the lake bank is imported from warmer sandier climates, perhaps Hawaii.