The Real Deal Miami

Moving up: Todd Glaser expands to Palm Beach with $5.9M purchase

It's the first purchase in what he sees as his new frontier, where "the amount of wealth is staggering"
By Ina Cordle | August 07, 2017 05:30PM

1221 North Lake Way in Palm Beach and Kim and Todd Glaser

Miami Beach spec home developer Todd Michael Glaser just paid $5.9 million for a home in Palm Beach, as he turns his focus northward to the tony town, The Real Deal has learned.

Glaser bought the landmarked house at 1221 North Lake Way, and said he plans to restore it and use it as a winter weekend getaway for his family, including his wife Kim and their four children.

It’s just the first purchase in what he sees as his new frontier, where “the amount of wealth is staggering” and the opportunity for spec development and renovation work abounds.

Built in 1940, the 5,645-square-foot Palm Beach home has five bedrooms and five bathrooms, according to the listing. The purchase price equates to $1,045 per square foot.

The home was on the market for 542 days and was last listed for $6.95 million, according to Realtor.com. The price was cut three times, down from as high as $9.75 million in 2016, Redfin shows. It was designed by architect Belford Shoumate to have a nautical theme, with porthole windows. The house has 65 feet of frontage on Lake Worth and is the only house on the waterway with its own deeded oceanfront cabana, according to Realtor.com. 

Records show the seller, Marion Boulton Stroud Swingle of Elverson, Pennsylvania, paid $6.5 million for the home in 2001. She died in 2015, according to published reports. The Corcoran Group’s Burt Minkoff had the listing. A. Whitney McGurk of Brown Harris Stevens represented Glaser.

Glaser is best known for developing modern spec homes as well as restoring older homes in Miami Beach. He credits himself for “discovering” the Design District and Wynwood and fueling the run-up in the waterfront housing market. “All the good homes in Miami Beach I have restored: the Bee Gees’ house, Carl Fisher’s house, Micky Wolfson’s,” he said. “There are no more projects for me, and Palm Beach is wide open.”

Glaser, who recently sold his vacation home in Islamorada and is currently spending the summer at his Nantucket retreat, also likes the small town feel of Palm Beach. “It reminds me of Miami Beach in the ’90s, or ’80s, even,” he said. “It’s very warm and friendly. We go to a restaurant once and we go back again and they know us, they remember us.”

Glaser has a second house under contract at 125 Via del Lago in Palm Beach, which he also plans to restore. He declined to provide the purchase price but said he got “an unbelievable deal.” Built in 1928, the home’s last asking price was $14.2 million.

He’s also hoping to buy property to tear down and build what he said could be a $150 million single-family spec home, but he declined to elaborate because it is not yet under contract. “My most expensive house I ever sold was $32 million, so this is a whole new bracket,” he said.

Palm Beach has long attracted billionaires and multimillionaires. In May, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger paid $34 million for an oceanfront estate at 100 Casa Bendita. In April, billionaire real estate investor Frank McCourt bought an oceanfront estate at 60 Blossom Way for $77.06 million, near billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffin’s assemblage. Griffin had spent about $215 million buying the land between 2012 and 2017, and plans to build a 55,800-square-foot mansion on South Ocean Boulevard and Blossom Way. The town is also home to billionaire hedge fund operator Paul Tudor Jones II, who plans improvements to his oceanfront estate that could cost up to $6.4 million. He paid $71.2 million for the estate in 2015.