Jim Held and Kenn Karakul’s restored house won a Ballinger Award; buyer is an LLC. Homes for Sale in Palm Beach
By Darrell Hofheinz/Daily News Real Estate Writer
Addison Mizner designed the tower added in 1927 to 4 El Bravo Way, today known as El Castillo. Restored by Jim Held and Kenn Karakul, the house has changed hands for a recorded $19.8 million. Photo by Robert Stevens, courtesy of Fite Shavell & Associates.
A Delaware-based entity has paid a recorded $19.8 million for El Castillo, James “Jim” Held and Kenn Karakul’s landmarked house in the Estate Section.
Citing confidentiality agreements, none of the parties involved would discuss specifics about the deal for 4 El Bravo Way or who is behind Jan Holdings LLC, the limited liability company that bought the seven-bedroom house. But the buyer is linked to the investment firm co-founded by Palm Beacher Henry Kravis, according to the deed recorded Tuesday.
The buyer’s mailing address is in care of James M. Goldrick of KKR Financial Services Co., an arm of the New York City-based company that Kravis co-founded with George Roberts. Goldrick also manages 700 North Lake LLC, a Florida limited liability company that owns Kravis’ lakefront estate on the North End, business records show.
The home, which won a Ballinger Award for historic preservation four years ago, features a distinctive five-level castle-like tower.
The sellers endeavored to replicate original details during their restoration, which won the 2009 Ballinger Award from the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. Photo by Robert Stevens, courtesy of Fite Shavell & Associates.
Held and Karakul, who owned the house through a trust named after the property’s address, have no plans to leave the island, according to their real estate agent, Jack Elkins of Fite Shavell & Associates.
“The sellers are planning to stay in Palm Beach,” said Elkins, who declined further comment.
Elkins had co-listed the house in late November for $26.4 million with his mother, Bunny Hiatt, also a Fite Shavell agent.
Cristina Condon of Sotheby’s International Realty was on the buyer’s side of the sale — the second most-expensive sale in Palm Beach this year and the third-largest since June.
It’s unclear whether any of the home’s furnishings changed hands as part of the deal.
In 2006, Held and Karakul bought the house, which has a little more than 16,000 square feet, inside and out. With a guest apartment above its five-car garage, the house stands one lot in from the beach on about three-quarters of an acre. The property is about a quarter-mile south of Worth Avenue on what is widely considered among the island’s prime streets, thanks to its history, architecture and location.
The tower rises beyond the swimming pool at 4 El Bravo Way. The original house dates to 1920. Photo by Robert Stevens, courtesy of Fite Shavell & Associates.
Held and Karakul carried out an extensive restoration that was honored in 2009 with the Ballinger Award from the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach.
The house is associated with several noted society architects. It was designed as a Mediterranean villa in 1920 by Marion Sims Wyeth for John Harris of New York. In 1927, Addison Mizner oversaw an expansion that transformed the look of the house into a feudal-style fantasy, adding the tower with its crenelated observation deck. In 1939, John Volk added a swimming pool and pool house.
Architect Thomas M. Kirchoff, working with the late contractor Bill Elias, supervised Held and Karakul’s restoration project.
The house was the first historic property Karakul and Held owned during nearly three decades on the island, where they built several houses. Their philanthropic efforts include running a charitable foundation in their names.
With retail backgrounds, Held and Karakul found business success in the formative years of the cable-shopping industry. Held served four years during the 1990s as president and CEO of the Home Shopping Network after holding a senior executive position at QVC. He later headed E.W. Scripps Co.’s home-shopping and online-commerce divisions.
Today, he is president and Karakul is vice president of JPBK Holdings Inc., a Palm Beach-based private investment and real estate holding company.
Held and Karakul had bought El Castillo from Jeanne Marie Jacques Ford and a trust in her name.
Jack Elkins of Fite Shavell & Associates
The two men had been intrigued by the house from the time they first toured it, Karakul told the Daily News in 2009.
“We had admired it from the outside, but when we saw the interiors for the first time, we were amazed at how its owners over the years had maintained its original character and details. It was just the kind of property we wanted to take on,” Karakul recalled. “Plus, the views from the tower floors are extraordinary.”
Elkins said Wednesday that from the upper three levels of the tower, one not only enjoys views of the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway but can see “from Singer Island all the way, I believe, to Boynton Beach.”
Bunny Hiatt of Fite Shavell & Associates
In the article about the award, Karakul described his and Held’s goals for the renovation and restoration. “Our intention was to modernize the house, but make it appear as if nothing had been done to it“, he said. “We insisted that all the original elements — hardware, stonework, woodwork, cabinetry, flooring, lighting fixtures and even the elevator — remain, while updating all the electrical systems and replacing all the windows, bringing everything up to contemporary standards.”
In 1979, the town granted the house landmark status, which protects some of its exterior walls from significant alteration.
In early 2011, a trust linked to the two men sold a nearby house at 111 El Brillo Way for a recorded $6.6 million. They had lived there during the renovation of El Castillo. Elkins — at the time with Engel & Voelkers, which today operates as Reback Realty — was the listing agent, while Paula Wittmann of Fite Shavell & Associates acted for the buyer, Ryan Brant.
View entire article on the Palm Beach Daily News website.