Morgans board member spends $14M on Palm Beach offices

The financial buildings at 205 and 221 Royal Palm Way in Palm Beach
The financial buildings at 205 and 221 Royal Palm Way in Palm Beach

A board member of the Morgans Hotels Group just picked up two 1920’s-era financial buildings in Palm Beach for $14 million.

Jason Kalisman, working through a Florida company named after the property, purchased the buildings at 205 and 221 Royal Palm Way late last week.

Both buildings are Mediterranean style with all-white walls and red clay roof tiles. They form an acre-sized compound at the corner of Royal Palm Way and South Country Road, in an area that’s popularly called “Bankers Row.” The price breaks down to $602 per square foot for the 23,245-square-foot office compound.

According to a listing with investment banking firm BlueGate Partners, the property was about 70 percent leased to JPMorgan as of September 2014.

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Kalisman is a board member for the Morgan Hotels Group, known in South Florida for its involvement in the Delano and Mondrian hotels in Miami Beach. He served as an interim CEO for the company, but resigned in May 2015 due to “personal obligations,” according to a news release.

The seller is a company called Investors Warranty of America, which paid $12.5 million for the buildings at a foreclosure auction in December 2009. It’s an assignee of lender Transamerica Life Insurance Company, which had lent the former owner $18 million on the property and later successfully foreclosed on the loan.

Transamerica had seized the property from Palm Beach real estate tycoon Bob Matthews, whose finances have floundered in recent years. The prominent builder has faced foreclosure after foreclosure, including the unfinished Palm House hotel-condo project, and his own private home, according to published reports.