Chicago beer magnate buys mansion in Palm Beach

James Reyes is a member of the family that owns Reyes Beverage Group, the largest beer distributor in the U.S.
By Keith Larsen | May 21, 2019 01:30PM

James Reyes and 560 Island Drive (Credit: Realtor)

James Reyes and 560 Island Drive (Credit: Realtor)

A member of a Chicago billionaire beer distribution family bought a waterfront mansion in Palm Beach’s Everglades Island for $12.5 million.

James Reyes and Jennifer Ruth Blair bought the 6,314-square-foot home at 560 Island Drive for $1,979 per square foot, records show. The two bought the property from trucking magnate Fred Barbara and his wife Lisa Humbert, who list their mailing address as 561 Island Drive, across the street.

The Reyes’ new home has six bedrooms and eight-and-a-half bathrooms. It was built in 1997, property records show.

The Reyes family owns the largest beer distributor in the U.S., Reyes Beverage Group. It also owns, Martin Brower, the biggest food distributor to McDonald’s. Forbes estimated that the family had a net worth of more than $8.6 billion in 2015. James Reyes is in charge of Reyes’ real estate portfolio which includes 65 facilities and over 6 million square feet of office and distribution space in North America, according to Bloomberg.

Barbara and his family ran a Chicago-based trucking company that made millions from lucrative contracts with the city. He is the grandson of early Chicago mobster Bruno “The Bomber” Roti Sr. and the nephew of Chicago alderman Fred Roti, who the FBI accused of being a “made” member of the Mob, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

The seller was represented by Paula Wittmann of William Raveis South Florida, while the buyer was represented by Kim Raich of Sotheby’s International Realty.

Palm Beach’s Everglades Island sits on the west side of Palm Beach. Among sales in the last few months, the widow of an heir to the Colgate-Palmolive fortune sold her estate at 655 Island Drive for $12.68 million. In February, Malasky Homes sold a 5,769-square-foot spec home at 608 Island Drive on Everglades Island for about $2,695 per square foot.