Here’s what you need to know about the sale of 219 Brazilian Ave. in the Palazzo Villas complex in Midtown Palm Beach.
The list of billionaires who own homes in Palm Beach just keeps growing.
The latest uber-wealthy buyer to close a deal on the island is Dr. Herbert “Herbie” A. Wertheim, who paid $17.9 million for a luxury condominium on Brazilian Avenue in Midtown, according to a deed recorded Feb. 13.
Last fall, Wertheim’s charitable foundation made the largest single gift from an individual donor to the University of Florida. The $100 million donation benefited what was then known as the Scripps Biomedical Research Institute in Jupiter and has since been renamed for Wertheim. The gift was part of a $1 billion public-private partnership between the foundation and the state’s flagship public university
Wertheim — an optometrist, inventor, scientist and stock investor — served as trustee of a trust that bought 219 Brazilian Ave., a never-lived-in, four-bedroom condo in the Palazzo Villas quadplex.
Resembling a townhouse, the three-level condo has 6,092 square feet of living space, inside and out, and is as large as some single-family homes in Palm Beach.
When the condo was relisted for sale at $19.999 million in November, it was marketed with the same furnishings, which the sales listing said cost more than $1 million. But the listing agent, Margit Brandt of Premier Estate Properties, on Feb. 13 confirmed the recorded price for the most recent sale did not include the furnishings. She declined to comment further about the transaction.
The seller in the just-recorded deal was a limited liability company controlled by a family that is said to own another property in Palm Beach.
Who is the buyer, Dr. Herbie Wertheim, and how much is he worth?
Buyer Wertheim has residential ties to Coral Gables, according to Forbes.com, which estimates his net worth at $4.4 billion. He has been involved in educational and community-focused projects in the Miami area since the late 1960s, according to published reports.
In October, the Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Family Foundation made its transformative gift to UF, which bought the Scripps campus in April. The university has renamed the institute The Herbert Wertheim UF Scripps Institute for Biomedical Innovation & Technology.
Wertheim “founded and still runs Brain Power Inc., a manufacturer of optical tints for eyeglasses; it holds more than 100 patents and copyrights,” says a brief Forbes biographical sketch.
He also has been a major donor to Miami’s Florida International University, where the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine is named for him. He and his wife also are the namesakes of FIU’s School of Music & Performing Arts.
Wertheim is a savvy Wall Street investor, according to Forbes, and the largest individual shareholder in aerospace firm Heico.
Broker Christian Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate represented him in the sale, according to the updated MLS listing. Angle and Wertheim could not be reached for comment.
Why is the residence in Palazzo Villas worth millions of dollars?
The condo sold new for a recorded $6 million in December 2020 and then again for just under $12 million in April 2021 before trading once more last year, courthouse records show. Prices escalated steeply in Palm Beach after a rush of buyers descended on the island following the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.
Brandt’s listing described the residence as “primed for immediate occupancy” — always a selling point in Palm Beach, where buyers are not necessarily interested in doing a major renovation.
The condo has custom finishes, a library/den and a private pool. The layout includes a living room and family room along with an upper-level master suite with walk-in-closets, an office and a terrace overlooking the garden and a pool in the private back yard, according to the sales listing. There’s also a two-car garage on the lowest level.
The residence was furnished by Marc-Michaels Interior Design before it sold last year, and the photos in Brandt’s listing show those furnishings and fixtures remained in place.
The condo shares a wall in Palazzo Villas with another unit — at 221 Brazilian Ave. — that sold in March 2022 for a recorded $17.8 million.
Brandt acted for the buyer when the condo at 219 Brazilian Ave. sold last May, the multiple listing service shows. She negotiated in that deal opposite her Premier Estate Properties colleague Jim McCann.
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Who was on the seller’s side of the Palazzo Villas deal?
Public records don’t identify the family behind 219 Brazilian Avenue LLC, the limited liability company that sold the condo. The deed was signed on behalf of the seller by attorney Alison R. Percy of the Peneiro Byrd law firm in Jupiter.
But the sellers are widely said to be a family who owns Palm Beach waterfront property, where a new house has been in the works. It’s unclear if the sellers had bought the condo last year as an investment, to house guests or family members, or to use as a temporary residence.
Wertheim bought the condo as trustee of the Brookhill 219 Revocable Trust, the deed recorded Feb. 13 shows.
More than 50 billionaires own property in Palm Beach, according to a Palm Beach Daily News roundup of the latest Forbes data.