A house and guesthouse are planned on 7½ acres of the estate, which measures more than 20 acres, leaving plenty of room for future development.
Billionaire hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin has finally unveiled plans for a beachfront mansion to be built on part of his massive ocean-to-lake estate in Palm Beach, a quarter mile south of Mar-a-Lago.
With about 50,000 total square feet, including its service basement, the contemporary-style house and guesthouse would be built on 7½ acres on the north part of Griffin’s estate, according to the plans filed at Town Hall.
In all, the estate — including its lakefront property — measures more than 20 acres, making it by far the largest in Palm Beach. Griffin began assembling the property eight years ago and has so far spent at least $350 million on the real estate alone, courthouse records show.
The new residence at 60 Blossom Way would be used, at least initially, by Griffin and his family, including his mother, according to sources familiar with the project.
No plans have yet been made public as to what might be built on his adjacent vacant land to the south at 1265 S. Ocean Blvd.
Griffin, who has deep family ties to Palm Beach County, founded the Chicago-based Citadel hedge fund. A spokesman for him declined to comment.
Preliminary plans show the house and its separate guesthouse would stretch about 350 feet and face about 425 feet of oceanfront. The Griffin estate’s total beachfront stretches more 1,180 feet, property records show.
The plans and renderings filed at Town Hall show that the house and guesthouse would have a combination of one- and two-story areas, with windows and patios facing the ocean.
On the opposite side of the house, the focal point would be be a swimming pool that runs perpendicular to the residence. The main house would have two second-floor “sunset terraces” facing west, with views across the coastal road that divides the property from an extensive estate owned by billionaire Thomas F. Petterfy on the Intracoastal Waterway.
As designed — but not yet approved by the town — the overall exterior would have a neutral color palette. It would feature clean lines, deep roof overhangs, pergolas and prominent vertical elements that include simple rectangular columns clad in limestone. Among the plentiful windows, the great room would soar two stories.
Exterior features would include a palm-lined courtyard, multiple water features, a lounge area with a “fire table,” shuffleboard courts, garden areas, vegetable beds and a west lawn that could double as a “playing field,” according to the drawings.
Renderings show interiors appointed in limestone and bleached-wood paneling with windows fitted with tinted and etched glass.
The project’s lead designer is the Seattle architecture firm Olson Kundig, which is collaborating with the architect of record, Daniel Kahan of Smith and Moore Architects in West Palm Beach. The landscaping plan is by Stoev Design Group of Sausalito, California.
Kahan was unavailable for comment and a representative at Olson Kundig couldn’t be reached.
Landscape designer Shilpa Stoev of Stoev Design Group declined to discuss the project. But a statement included with her renderings said the firm’s design goal is to “collapse the boundaries between the built and the natural environment.”
The plans for the five-bedroom house and its four-bedroom guesthouse had been expected to be reviewed by the Architectural Commission on Wednesday. But officials voted 5-2 not to review the project after Town Hall staff told them the Town Council must still re-plat the land, which straddles Blossom Way, a private road. The council could review the matter as early as Feb. 10.
Staff members had recommended the architectural board defer consideration of the project, which is now expected to be reviewed at the Feb. 24 meeting.
The drawings for the house, however, had already been filed at Town Hall in preparation for the meeting.
This isn’t the first house Griffin has had designed for his South End property, which he began assembling in December 2012 with the purchase of four adjacent parcels for nearly $130 million. He has already knocked down several homes on the property.
In April 2017, Griffin pulled the plug on a massive one-story oceanfront residence — stretching longer than a football field — that was designed for the property by San Francisco-based architect Ugo Sap and his staff at Atelier Ugo Sap.
Griffin had broken ground on that 476-foot long house — and already excavated part of the basement — before he stopped work on it. A town official at the time said he was told budget overruns demanded a return to the drawing board. Because the footprint of the property had changed over the years with the addition of new parcels, Griffin decided to re-think his plans for the property, a spokesman said in 2017.
Broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates has orchestrated nearly all of the real estate deals in which the billionaire has assembled his estate.
The house now under consideration would require the demolition of two houses fronting South Ocean Boulevard on either side of Blossom Way, the private street that accesses Griffin’s property. Griffin renovated one of those houses, at 70 Blossom Way, to use as a vacation house. He paid a recorded $15.25 million for it in 2015 in a deal that saw agent Ned Monell of Sotheby’s International Realty on the seller’s side.
The other house, which Griffin bought in 2018 for $20.25 million at 10 Blossom Way, has been used by his family, according to multiple sources.
On Wednesday, the Architectural Commission approved a request to demolish both of those houses, and their land will be used to accommodate the new residence.
Another piece of land is key to the new house — its oceanfront parcel. Griffin bought that property in 2019, paying a recorded $99 million for it. At the time, it contained a house, which has already been razed.
Architectural Commissioner John David Corey on Thursday said the board made the right call to defer reviewing the design of the Griffin house until February. “We should follow the staff’s recommendation,” he said.
But Commissioner Alexander Ives, who voted against the deferral with Commissioner Betsy Shiverick, said he would have preferred to review the project Wednesday, even if it were just an “informal’ review without any sort of vote.
“I think it would have been fine for us to have heard it one way or another,” Ives said.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Griffin has been operating a trading floor for his Citadel Securities firm since last spring at the Four Seasons Palm Beach, which has been closed to other guests.
Griffin’s net worth is estimated by Forbes at $15 billion. He attended high school in Boca Raton and in 2018 became the lead donor for the Norton Museum of Art’s expansion project after making a $20 million donation to the institution in West Palm Beach.