EXCLUSIVE: Chicago billionaire expands massive Palm Beach estate to more than 15 acres

The already-sizable Billionaires Row oceanfront estate of Chicago hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin just keeps growing.

Public records confirm Griffin has acquired his first lakefront property, at 1285 S. Ocean Blvd., about a quarter-mile south of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago and immediately across the street from his beachfront land.

The property adds about 2 acres to the 13.5 acres Griffin already owns east of South Ocean Boulevard, where he has another 1.6-acre track there under contract at 10 Blossom Way, as the Daily News reported exclusively in January. When the Blossom Way sale closes, Griffin will own a staggering 17 acres of prime real estate. That makes his estate by far the largest in Palm Beach.

The price paid by Griffin’s ownership company remains cloaked, thanks to the way the transaction was structured.

With a 10,833-square-foot house, the newest property follows the curve of the Intracoastal Waterway and has about 193 feet of waterfront, according to property records.

RELATED: Pending sale will expand Griffin’s sizable Palm Beach estate

The property has a “total market value” of $16.76 million in the latest tax rolls. But that value was assigned as of Jan. 1, 2017, and property values across town have likely risen since then, according to Palm Beach real estate observers. Several sources said the property likely was worth at least $20 million.

The transaction was recorded as an “ownership change” last week by the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office. The property was not listed for sale in the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.

A spokesman for Griffin had no comment Thursday.

The seller was evidently Anna Murdoch-Mann, who was the second wife of Rupert Murdoch, executive CEO and founder of News Corp. and creator of FOX Broadcasting. The couple divorced in 1999, and she married the late financier and businessman William Houston Mann the same year. Mann died in August at 91. His widow, a Scottish journalist and novelist, had paid a recorded $11.42 million for the South Ocean Boulevard property in May 2003, records show. The couple divided their time between Palm Beach and Southampton, N.Y.

Broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates has represented Griffin in all of his other transactions on Billionaires Row. Griffin, who heads the Citadel hedge fund firm, began assembling properties there in late 2012 and has so far paid a recorded $230 million for his land. Moens, who also handled the seller’s side for almost all of the deals, could not be reached Thursday.

Griffin’s oceanfront land has been cleared of buildings to make way for his house, which is under construction and will stretch longer than a football field. The estate has 871 feet of oceanfront.

RELATED: See photos of Ken Griffin’s planned house

The lakefront house he just bought was built in 1983 by Michael Burrows, the developer of the Blossom Estate subdivision. According to a sales listing from 2003 that touted its “spectacular views,” the four-bedroom house has a walk-in wine cellar and a covered patio among its amenities.

Via a transaction recorded Jan. 29, Murdoch-Mann deeded her home to a Delaware-registered limited liability company named Havudsigt LLC. Because it was as an internal transfer rather than a so-called “arm’s-length” sale, the amount of the transaction was not recorded by the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.

Last week, the property appraiser received notice that a company associated with Griffin had taken ownership of the property through another limited liability company, Lungomare LLC. Delaware business records show a company by that name was registered in November. Because of Delaware’s strict privacy laws, no other information about the company was immediately available in public records. No deed was recorded for the deal, according to a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Clerk’s office.

The names of both LLCs involved, however, are associated with water in other languages. “Havudsigt” can be translated from the Danish to mean waterfront or sea view while “lungomare” means “waterfront” in Italian.

Murdoch-Mann had the property homesteaded in the latest tax rolls, courthouse records show. Homestead exemptions transfer with the sale of property for the remainder of the calendar year in which the transaction is recorded.

In all, Griffin has acquired seven properties in the immediate area, not including the one under contract at 10 Blossom Way. He has knocked down four houses — including one on 4 acres he bought in January 2017 for $85 million next door to his initial purchases.

RELATED: Griffin pays $85 million for neighboring estate

Forbes estimates Griffin’s net worth at $9.1 billion.

Sotheby’s International Realty handled both sides of the 2003 sale, in which agent Liz Schuler represented Murdoch-Mann opposite agent Cristina Condon. Schuler said Thursday that she wasn’t involved in the recent sale, and Condon couldn’t be reached.

Murdoch-Mann’s late husband was president of Manca Inc and of Leitz Inc., which imported cameras and industrial scientific instruments. Leitz eventually became the Leica camera company. He also was the founding member and served as chairman of the board for 30 years of St. Luke Institute, a Catholic healing ministry for the clergy.

RELATED: Palm Beach OKs Griffin’s longer-than-a-football-field house

RELATED: Read more Palm Beach real estate news

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Spring 2018: 5 things to know about the vernal equinox
Spring 2018: 5 things to know about the vernal equinox

Spring is finally here with the arrival of the vernal equinox, as determined by people who base their seasons on the Earth’s position relative to the sun and stars. Here are five things to know: 1. What is it? During the vernal equinox, the sun shines directly on the equator, and the northern and southern hemispheres get exactly the same...
Country music personality Hazel Smith has died at the age of 83
Country music personality Hazel Smith has died at the age of 83

There are many who have played a part in the landscape of country music, many who have added their talents to the tapestry of the music genre that has had an impact on so many lives. many who have affected the history of Nashville and country music and many who have left us sooner than we would have liked. >> Read more trending news  One...
NEW: Decomposing body found in canal bank near Southern Boulevard
NEW: Decomposing body found in canal bank near Southern Boulevard

A decomposing body was found in a canal bank on Southern Boulevard near Palm Beach International Airport Monday afternoon, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.  At 6 p.m., detectives were called to the intersection of Haverhill Road and Southern Boulevard, just west of the airport, where what are believed to be human remains...
JUST IN: Boy, 13, arrested for threatening to shoot up school on Snapchat
JUST IN: Boy, 13, arrested for threatening to shoot up school on Snapchat

A 13-year-old boy was arrested after he threatened to “shoot up” Glades Day Academy on social media, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.  The teen, whose name was not released because he is a minor, was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center and faces charges including written threats to kill.  Investigators...
Priscilla Presley shares new details about Elvis Presley’s final days
Priscilla Presley shares new details about Elvis Presley’s final days

Elvis Presley’s ex-wife, Priscilla Presley, candidly opens up about the King of Rock-'n'-Roll’s final years, and his painful drug addiction, during the debut of “Elvis Presley: The Searcher” at SXSW. >> Read more trending news  Elvis Presley may have passed away more than 40 years ago, but the life that he lived continues...
More Stories