Resi roundup: Hospitality scion, former Sotheby’s boss and interior designer sell South Florida homes

Sales spanned from Key Biscayne to Palm Beach, with prices ranging from $7.5M to $13.6M

Hospitality Scion, Ex-Sotheby’s Boss, Designer Sell Homes
Palace Resorts' Gibran Chapur, Michael Ainslie, Leta Foster and Bob Vila with 596 North Country Road, 251 Knollwood Drive and 345 Pendleton Lane (Baglioni Hotels & Resorts, Vanderbilt University, Getty, Bob Vila)

The season is in full swing in South Florida, and homes are selling for millions of dollars across the tri-county region. 

Buyers and sellers in the latest roundup of deals include a hospitality scion, a Lehman Brothers alum, a home makeover TV star and an interior designer.

Key Biscayne 

In Key Biscayne, Palace Resorts scion Gibran Chapur flipped a waterfront house for $10.5 million in an off-market deal. Records show Chapur’s Chada Eateries Corporation sold the home at 251 Knollwood Drive to 101 Reef Lane LLC, a Florida entity. The true buyer is unknown.

Chapur is a scion of the Chapur family, one of Mexico’s wealthiest families. He is executive vice president of his family’s Palace Resorts, one of the pioneers of the all-inclusive resort concept. In March, an entity managed by Rosa Chapur bought a lakefront Coral Gables home for $10 million

Chapur bought the Key Biscayne house for $10.1 million in January, according to property records. Built in 1968 on 0.6 acres, the 7,700-square-foot home has six bedrooms and nine bathrooms, records show. The home also has 327 feet of waterfront, dockage for a 70-foot yacht and a 15-car garage, the listing shows. 

The house listed for rent in January asking $30,000 a month, and the asking rent was lowered to $22,000 before Chapur removed it from the market in April, Zillow shows. 

Sunny Isles Beach

In Sunny Isles Beach, real estate investor Kevin Branigan bought an Estates at Acqualina condo for $13.4 million. Records show Branigan and his wife, Petra Branigan, bought unit TS 4505 in the south tower at 17901 Collins Avenue from the developer, Trump Group’s A3 Development. 

Estates at Acqualina includes the 49-story, 154-unit south tower and the 52-story, 94-unit north tower. It also features a 45,000-square-foot amenities space with a movie theater, bowling alley and ice skating rink. The buildings were completed earlier this year. 

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Branigan heads Midway Holdings, a firm based in Daniel Island, South Carolina. Last month, the couple donated a trio of animatronic dinosaurs to the College of Charleston, Moultrie News reported. 

Two Estates at Acqualina condos sold for a combined $23.9 million in a pair of November deals.

Palm Beach

In Palm Beach, a former Sotheby’s and Lehman Brothers boss sold his island home in an off-market deal. Records show Michael and Suzanne Ainslie sold the house at 596 North County Road for $13.6 million to the Filoxenia Nominee Trust, managed by Susan Dufresne of Seabrook, New Hampshire. 

Michael Ainslie was the CEO of Sotheby’s from 1984 to 1994, and a director of Lehman Brothers from 1996 until its bankruptcy in 2008. Suzanne Ainslie is a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty in Palm Beach, and she had the listing along with John Cregan.

The Ainslies bought the 0.3-acre non-waterfront property for $2.2 million in 2017, records show. Built in 2020, the 4,200-square-foot house has five bedrooms, five bathrooms, one half-bathroom and a pool. It listed for $15 million in May, then removed from the Multiple Listing Service in July, shows. 

The deed also links the couple to a unit 1401 in West Palm Beach’s La Clara. The 3,200-square-foot unit was asking $36,000 a month in rent, according to the October listing. 

Also in Palm Beach, interior designer Leta Foster and her husband, Ridgely Foster, sold their island house to “This Old Home” star Bob Vila for $12.5 million. Records show the Fosters sold the house at 345 Pendleton Lane to Vila and his wife, Diana Barrett.

Jeffrey Cloninger of Sotheby’s International Realty had the listing, and the buyer did not use an agent. 

Bob Vila is a longtime host of home improvement TV shows, including “This Old House,” “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” and “Bob Vila.”

Leta Foster has a Palm Beach-based interior design firm. She and her husband bought the Pendleton Lane house for $180,000 in 1975, records show. The 4,300-square-foot home was built in 1937 on a quarter-acre. It includes four bedrooms, four bathrooms, one half-bathroom, and was designed by early Palm Beach architect John Volk, the listing shows. The Fosters listed it for $15 million in September, shows.