The Real Deal Miami

Palm Beach developer must split $550M real estate empire in nasty divorce

Judge calls 91-year old Burt Handelsman a “chronic fabricator”
January 16, 2019 09:45AM

Burt Handelsman and Worth Avenue in Palm Beach

Burt Handelsman’s $550 million real estate portfolio will be split with his ex-wife and children in the fallout of his nasty divorce.

A judge divided the holdings of the 91-year old Handelsman, which includes many properties on famed Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, such as the sites of Ralph Lauren, Jimmy Choo, Lily Pulitzer and Findlay Galleries, according to the Palm Beach Post. The stores were given to his 90-year-old wife Lucille.

Lucille Handelsman decided to end the nearly 70-year relationship with her husband due to Burt’s infidelity, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Palm Beach Circuit Judge Scott Suskauer said Burt demonstrated “a pattern of dishonesty” and was a“chronic fabricator.”

The judge said Burt called his adult children who were also in the family business, “his enemies.” Burt allegedly tried to go against them by negotiating long-term leases with a specious businessman, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Burt will keep the pair’s home in White Plains, New York, and a golf course in the Catskills valued at $8.5 million, according to the newspaper. Lucille, in addition to the Worth Avenue holdings, was awarded property on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.

In total, the judge ruled on 18 different pieces property valued at about $210 million and also split the couple’s cash, stock and artwork. The rest of the holdings were divided among his wife and children during negotiations. [Palm Beach Post]Keith Larsen