Chicago real estate CEO sells Palm Beach home for $14M

Buyer is Margaret Keyes, ex-wife of the co-owner of Keyes Auto Group

152 Dolphin Road in Palm Beach (Google Maps, Getty)
152 Dolphin Road in Palm Beach (Google Maps, Getty)

Real estate investor Michael Burns sold his non-waterfront Palm Beach home for $14.4 million.

Records show Burns sold the house at 152 Dolphin Road to Margaret Joan Keyes as trustee of a revocable trust in her name. Burns is CEO of Torburn Partners, a privately-owned real estate investment firm based in Northbrook, Ill. Keyes is the ex-wife of Howard Keyes, the co-owner of Van Nuys, Calif.-based Keyes Auto Group.

Whitney McGurk of Brown Harris Stevens represented the seller, and Spencer Schlager of Douglas Elliman brought the buyer. McGurk could not be reached for comment.

Burns bought the 3,846-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom home in 2020 for $6.8 million, records show. An Austrian couple built the house in 2017, records show. The property includes deeded cabana access and a 50-foot pool, according to the listing.

Burns’ Torburn Partners also invests in South Florida property. Last year, Torburn sold an office building in Plantation to Midtown Capital Partners for $78 million.

Burns listed the Palm Beach property for $16.5 million in July, about $2 million more than its ultimate sale price. Schlager said an additional sale of personal property brought the deal close to the listing price, but that transaction is not reflected in property records.

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“Don’t let that be any indication of a softening market,” Schlager said, adding that the “mad rush” of the past two years is over, but price declines are nowhere in sight.

“The market’s been reset at new levels,” he said. “The demand is there, and the supply just isn’t.”

According to Schlager, the buyer is new to ownership in Palm Beach. He declined to comment on her identity.

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Earlier this year, Keyes sold her Hidden Hills, Calif. mansion to Sylvester Stallone for $18.2 million, the Dirt reported. Keyes bought the home in the Kardashian-favored neighborhood for $7.8 million in 2016, according to the outlet. Records show Keyes filed for divorce from Howard Keyes in 2017.

Keyes is among a slew of recent buyers in Palm Beach. This month, a top trader at Goldman Sachs dropped $16 million for a newly built house on nearby Nightingale Trail. South Florida developer Todd Glaser bought back the Palm Beach home he sold in 2019, this time paying $23.2 million for the property.

High demand for Palm Beach properties resulted in a price surge for non-waterfront homes in the first half of this year, landing non-waterfront sales among the top sales in all of Palm Beach County.