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Who wants a long commute to work, especially after you’ve paid more than $70 million for a mansion on Palm Beach’s oceanfront?
Not, evidently, billionaire hedge-funder Paul Tudor Jones, who is opening up an office on Bankers Row for his Greenwich, Conn.-based Tudor Investment Corp., the company has confirmed. Jones’ hedge fund has $14 billion in assets under management, according to the most recent public figures.
|Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp. has leased all the space in this building at 109 Royal Palm Way, which faces the beachfront at South Ocean Boulevard. Earlier this year, he paid a recorded $71.2 million for the historic Casa Apava estate on the South End.|
The fund will become the sole tenant — leasing 10,800 square feet — at 109 Royal Palm Way, which is now a vacant freestanding building. With 44 parking spaces, the Midterranean-style building faces the beach at the corner of South Ocean Boulevard. It last housed SunTrust Bank, which relocated down the street last season.
The location will be Tudor Investment’s 10th office globally, according to spokesman Patrick Clifford. A timeframe for opening the office has not been announced.
Offering Class A office space, the two-story building has been owned since 1998 by a Royal Palm Way LLC, a New York limited liability company with an address in Woodbury, property records show. Commercial real estate brokerage CBRE Inc. represented the building’s owner in the lease negotiations.
Broker Lawrence A. Moens of Lawrence Moens Associates acted on Jones’ behalf in the deal, his office confirmed. The terms of the lease have not been disclosed, although the CBRE sales listing last marketed the space at a “suggested” rate of $55 per square foot, pending negotiations.
Moens couldn’t be reached for comment, and listing broker Anthony Librizzi of CBRE declined to provide specifics about the deal.
Moens also represented both sides in late March when Jones paid a recorded $71.2 million for the landmarked Casa Apava estate on 5.3 acres along the South End’s Billionaires Row. Dwight and Martha Schar parted with the estate after previously selling off its three lakefront parcels for a combined $45 million. In May, Jones signed a $53.4 million mortgage on the 24,800-square-foot, circa-1918 house, property records show.
‘A good sign’
Laurel Baker, executive director of the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, said it seemed logical that Jones would open a location here for his business interests.
“It makes sense. He’s bought a major property here, and it’s convenient to the office,” Baker said, adding that Royal Palm Way is an “appropriate location” because so many other financial services businesses operate on the street.
“It’s a good sign for Palm Beach, given the shortage of Class A office space in downtown West Palm Beach,” she said. “This should be an encouragement to (developers there) to start digging.
”The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County lately has been publicizing an initiative to attract hedge funds from Greenwich, New York City and Boston to the county, citing the fact that many of the funds’ key executives own homes here. In May, for instance, board President and CEO Kelly Smallridge appeared on CNBC to discuss her organization’s efforts.
“It’s just a different quality of life,” Smallridge told CNBC. “People spend an entire lifetime of working to retire to come to Florida, when you can actually earn a living in Florida and live in this environment year-round.”
The CNBC report cited a February article published at FundsSociety.com and written by Vice President Ian McCluskey of Newlink Financial Communications. McCluskey’s firm analyzed data that showed South Florida “is home to 50 community banks, 59 international banks, 60 hedge funds, 63 wealth-management firms, 19 private equity firms, 13 investment banks and more than 200 family offices, not to mention a few upstart venture capital firms, a $7 billion mutual fund and more real estate investment funds than we even dared to count.”
In his article, McCluskey acknowledged that South Florida — and Miami in particular — is hardly “in the same league as New York. But it does deserve to be in the conversation.”
CNBC, however, noted that “investment firms are hardly moving en masse to Florida, and the state counts few private fund managers that run $1 billion or more.”
Jones founded the private asset-management firm Tudor Investment Corp. and the Tudor Group, which helped earn him a fortune estimated by Forbes to be $4.6 billion. He and his wife, Sonia, have a home in Greenwich, Conn., where the company is based, and are selling another house they own in Islamorada.
Jones founded the Robin Hood Foundation, a nonprofit group that fights poverty in New York City and is largely funded by those in the hedge-fund community. He also co-founded the Everglades Foundation.
Last week, the Architectural Commission gave conditional approval to Tudor Investment Corp.’s application to replace windows and doors in the Royal Palm Way building with impact-resistant versions.
Palm Beach Daily News
By Darrell Hofheinz