West Palm Beach spec home sells for $9M in record non-waterfront deal

Five-bedroom home sits on 0.7 acres

A photo illustration of the spec home at 221 Essex Lane in West Palm Beach (Compass)
A photo illustration of the spec home at 221 Essex Lane in West Palm Beach (Compass)

A newly built, non-waterfront spec home in West Palm Beach sold for a record $8.7 million, marking the expansion of the homebuying spree to inland South Florida homes.

Husband and wife Andrew and Mary Lago bought the five-bedroom house at 221 Essex Lane, according to a news release from their broker Brown Harris Stevens. The Lagos moved to West Palm after living in London for 13 years.

Investment firm DRI Fund, through an affiliate, sold the house after finishing construction in 2021, records show. DRI Fund, led by Steven and Jeffrey Kirsch, invests in distressed mortgages and real estate development, according to its website.

Sabra Kirkpatrick and Sarah Koenig led the Brown Harris team that represented the Lagos. Thor Brown of Douglas Elliman represented the seller.

DRI Fund has offices in West Palm Beach and Southfield, Michigan. It paid just over $1 million for the 0.7-acre lot in 2019, records show.

The two-story, 6,596-square-foot house has six full bathrooms and one half-bath. It was designed in a British West Indies estate style and has a pool, gourmet chef’s kitchen, a butler’s pantry, and an oversized master suite featuring vaulted ceilings, fireplaces, and an oversized closet with two islands and a vanity, according to Realtor.com.

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(Source: Compass)

It was originally listed for $9.5 million in October.

The sale price marks a record for non-waterfront West Palm Beach single-family house deals, Koenig said, citing Brown Harris data. The top 18 house sales in the city, ranging from $15.9 million to $5 million, all were for waterfront homes.

The Essex Lane sale reflects the ongoing South Florida home buying spree, largely fueled by multi-millionaire newcomers, has broadened beyond waterfront properties to include inland ones.

The Lagos’ new home sits just over a block, or 658 feet, from the Lake Worth Lagoon.

The top West Palm home sale historically was Michael and Roberta Joseph’s purchase of the contemporary-style mansion at 3200 Washington Road for $15.9 million in September. Real estate broker and interior designer Hilary Musser developed and sold the house.

In another recent West Palm deal, former tennis star Anna Kournikova’s mother, Alla Kournikova, sold the house at 4401 South Flagler Drive for $6 million in December.

Also, shoe mogul Marc Fisher paid $10.5 million in August for a West Palm house.

West Palm is not the only South Florida market where non-waterfront home sales are soaring. In Miami Beach, deals for inland houses topping $5 million were practically unheard of previously, but that has changed over the past year and a half.

In September, retired Wall Street broker Bryant Yunker Jr. and his wife, Nancy Yunker, bought a non-waterfront Miami Beach house from former Miami Dolphins linebacker Orlandus Andre Branch III for $6.3 million.

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