Trump’s “Old” Home to be Demolished


Known as Maison de l’Amitié, or House of Friendship, the 61,744-square-foot home was purchased by Donald Trump in 2004 for $41 million. Replete with a tennis house, pool house, and carriage house, the home sat empty for years.

After vowing to turn it into the “second-greatest house in America” – the greatest one, of course, being his own home, also in Palm Beach – Trump performed a series of interior renovations, hoping to one day sell it for “terrific value.” Sure enough, Trump would go on to sell the house for a whopping $95 million in 2008, narrowly avoiding the real estate market crash that would occur later that same year.

Under the ownership of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who acquired the property strictly for investment purposes, the home would continue to sit empty for the eight years that followed. Unable to fetch his asking price of $125 million, Rybolovlev applied to the Palm Beach Architectural Commission earlier this year to have the estate demolished.

Pending approval by the town of Palm Beach, the property will be subdivided into three different parcels. This would split the land into one 51,000-square-foot parcel bordering 173 feet of coast, and two 42,000-square-foot parcels, each with their own 150-foot stretches of coast.

Rybolovlev currently has no plans to build atop any of the three parcels, and plans to list each parcel for individual sale following the completion of the demolition and the approval – should the town of Palm Beach grant it – for the subdivision.

Oceanfront homes in Palm Beach have recently sold for an average rate of about $110,000 per linear foot. In order to receive his $125 million asking price, Rybolovlev will have to sell the three parcels for over $215,000 per linear foot of ocean frontage – in other words, for roughly twice the average amount of oceanfront properties in the area.

But given its direct access to such a vast expanse of beach, many brokers in the area fully expect Rybolovlev’s three parcels to fetch those kinds of prices. Some even expect all three to be bought by a single buyer, and kept as a single estate.

Should that happen, it would be an ironic twist of fate, given that Rybolovlev just tore down the existing single estate in the belief that three separate parcels would be a more appealing option for buyers!

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