Palm Beach homes: Beachfront house sells for $15.95 million, deed shows

Former investment executive Frederick W. McCarthy has sold his 1930s-era oceanfront house near the northern tip of Palm Beach for $15.95 million, according to a pair of deeds recorded today by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.

The Mediterranean house at 1519 N. Ocean Way is one of several beachfront properties in the neighborhood to change hands over the past several years. It stands in an area where older homes are being replaced by houses developed for sale on speculation or by custom homes.

On the buyers’ side are two companies identified on the deeds with an address at 15 Dairy Road in Greenwich, Conn. That address is associated in Connecticut property and voter-registration records with Edward A. Mulé and Marian N. Mulé. Edward Mulé is CEO and co-founder of Silver Point Capital LP, a Greenwich-based hedge fund.

The deed for the Palm Beach house recorded at $15.01 million, while the deed for a smaller side yard recorded at $936,570. The buying entities were identified as a pair of Delaware-based limited liability companies named 1519 N. Ocean Way #1 and 1519 N. Ocean Way #2, each with a 50-percent interest in the two properties, the deeds show.

McCarthy paid $4.3 million for the house on North Ocean Way in 1991, courthouse records show, and he had the residence homesteaded in the county tax rolls.

With about 90 feet of beachfront, the property measures nearly a half-acre. Completed in 1936, the house overlooks another half acre of federally protected dune area.

One of six beachfront houses in the Ocean Way enclave, the five-bedroom residence has 13,271 square feet of living space, inside and on its wrap-around covered lanais and covered balconies, records show. The two-story house’s original architect is unknown, and the style of its architecture has been substantially changed since it was built.

In April, McCarthy paid a recorded $1.55 million for a three-bedroom condominium in Waterview Towers, just south of the Flagler Memorial Bridge in West Palm Beach, property records show. McCarthy couldn’t be reached.

Premier Estate Properties handled both sides of the sale of the house, according to the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

Listing agent Jim McCann declined to comment about the transaction. But his listing described the house as a “charming seaside European villa” with “expansive light filled rooms,” custom moldings, wood and tile floors, a well-equipped kitchen and a master suite with a vaulted ceiling and wide views of the sea. Interior photos show a winding staircase, a poolside dining room and an expansive living room with glass doors leading to a lanai.

Agent Allison Wren handled the buyer’s side of the deal, MLS shows. Wren declined to comment, and a message left for Edward Mulé was not immediately returned.

The house is part of a half-mile stretch fronting dunes near the inlet where properties lately have been targeted for redevelopment. To the north, a new beachfront house, which also fronts the inlet, is rising at 149 E. Inlet Drive after the 1.4-acre property sold in March 2017 for a recorded $14.64 million.

Nearby at 101 Indian Road, a new beachfront house developed on speculation on 1.5 acres sold for $49 million in January 2017. And another new oceanside spec mansion on about 1.5 acres at 1695 N. Ocean Way sold in March 2016 for a recorded $43.7 million; its buyer in July 2017 paid $24 million for the beachfront house next door on a 2.4-acre lot at 1565 N. Ocean Way and razed it to expand his grounds.

Just down the beach, an oceanfront house on 2 acres at 1473 N. Ocean Blvd. sold in March 2018 for a recorded $39.37 million. And in March 2015, a 1989 house at 137 E. Inlet Drive sold for about $10.9 million on a lot about the same size as McCarthy’s former property.

Frederick McCarthy bought the Waterview Towers condo via a deed recorded April 17. The lakeside condo, No. 2105 at 400 N. Flagler Drive, was sold by Leigh Lombardi, who acted as co-trustee for a family trust in her name, courthouse records show. Measuring 5,420 total square feet, the unit is one of 16 in the building with balconies on its east and west sides, according to the MLS.

McCarthy heads his family’s West Palm Beach-based foundation, which funds charitable organizations involved in health care as well as minority- and women-run businesses and programs to help improve educational, medical and social conditions in the United States, Ireland and Africa, according to its website.

McCarthy, 77, is a former managing director of the Boston office of Drexel Burnham Lambert and former chairman of company named Triumph Capital Group with offices in Boston and West Palm Beach. In 2003, he pleaded guilty to helping facilitate a kickback scheme through which Triumph got to manage $200 million in Connecticut government pension funds in return for providing bogus consulting contracts to two associates of then State Treasurer Paul J. Silvester, according to government filings. McCarthy was sentenced to serve a little more than a year in federal prison and was released in January 2005, government records show. Silvester received a longer prison sentence in a related case.

The sale of McCarthy’s house closed Friday, according to the MLS. In July 1991, McCarthy transferred ownership of the smaller parcel to Daniel A. McCarthy via a “quit-claim” deal recorded at $17,900, according to courthouse records. In August 2005, the same parcel transferred again, in a transaction recorded at $50,000, to Daniel McCarthy and two other members of the family, all serving as co-trustees of the North Ocean GST Trust, records show. But the deed recorded today lists only Frederick McCarthy as trustee.

Frederick McCarthy bought the house from longtime Palm Beachers Rodney G. and Donna A. Ward, who had carried out an extensive renovation project, building records show.

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