The Real Deal Miami

Waterfront home on Everglades Island sells for $13M

Owner was founder of Checkers fast food chain

August 05, 2015 12:00PM

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The home at 650 Island Drive

The home at 650 Island Drive, Palm Beach (Credit: Andy Frame)

A waterfront home with a checkered past, on Everglades Island in Palm Beach, was just sold for $13 million.

The home, which measures 7,814 square feet, is Venetian-styled and sits on a waterfront lot that faces the eastern side of the island.

It was built in 2007 by the seller, James E. Mattei — the same Alabama native who founded the now ubiquitous fast food chain Checkers.

The history of Checkers began in the 1980s after Mattei, a real estate developer who lived in Mobile, Alabama at the time, flirted with the fast food industry by franchising several Wendy’s locations, according to the company’s profile on FundingUniverse website.

The restaurants were ultimately unsuccessful. Mattei thought this was because their space was wasted on interior seating and parking lots, when most of his business came from the drive thru.

And so the concept of Checkers born — a two-windowed burger joint with only an interior kitchen and outside benches. Mattei stepped down as president and CEO years later.

A revocable trust in Mattei’s name, with him as a trustee, owned the Everglades Island home at 650 Island Drive in Palm Beach. He had put the home on and off the market during the downturn, and most recently put it up for sale in 2013 with his wife’s mother, Mary Boykin of Sotheby’s International Realty, the Palm Beach Daily News reported.

The deed for the sale was recorded Tuesday. Palm Beach County records have not yet updated to show who the buyer was. [Palm Beach Daily News]Sean Stewart-Muniz