Eric Trump and his wife Lara are the latest members of their famous family to scoop up premium real estate in south Florida.
The couple bought a mansion in Jupiter, Florida, located in Palm Beach County, for $3.2 million in March, property records show. A December real estate listing for the five-bed, seven-bathroom property said it was the largest home in the Trump National Golf Club gated community.
“Breathtaking preserve & golf views surround this luxurious, completely renovated, private estate home located on the largest lot in the exclusive gated community of Trump National Golf Club,” it said. “The exterior has been designed like a Tuscany estate while the interior has a transitional contemporary feel.”
The listing, which features photos of the property, also says the home has two master bedrooms, his and hers closets, and a safe room, as well as a backyard with a pool, kitchen, and a full cabana bath.
The Trump National Golf Club is owned by Eric Trump’s father and former president Donald Trump, who bought the club from Ritz-Carlton in 2012.
The community is next door to another luxurious gated community, Admirals Cove, where Don Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, spent $9.7 million on a six-bedroom, 11-bathroom waterfront mansion.
Donald Trump also relocated to Palm Beach, Florida, after leaving office, and took up residence at his Mar-a-Lago resort along with his wife, Melania, and son Barron. Though Insider’s Tom LoBianco reported the family is temporarily relocating to Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for the summer.
Former first daughter Ivanka Trump has also settled in Florida, further south in Miami. Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner spent $32 million in December on an empty lot in a private island community known as Miami’s ‘Billionaire Bunker.’ The couple is staying in a luxury oceanfront rental until their new home is ready, The Miami Herald reported.
Software company Civix and Sonesta International Hotels are opening new offices in Orlando, too.
Deloitte has invested $63 million in Orlando since 2014, while KMPG chose Orlando for its $450 million global training center, which Barnes said is the largest capital investment in KMPG history, according to Casey Barnes, vice president of business development at the Orlando Economic Partnership.
Colliers previously told Insider that interest from out-of-state firms in South Florida real estate is “torrential” – and they’re looking for much bigger officers than before, too.
Average salaries are climbing
As these businesses open offices in Florida, the job-market in the state is booming, too.
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of job search engine Adzuna, told Insider Florida’s job vacancies are back at pre-pandemic levels and the number of unemployed is reaching record lows while average city salaries are climbing.
The number of financial-services employees in Florida has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels with nearly 600,000 people working in the sector. New York, on the other hand, is rebounding much slower, and still has around 30,000 fewer employees in the sector than it did in early 2020, according to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Casey Barnes, vice president of business development at the Orlando Economic Partnership, told Insider that Deloitte has created more than 2,200 new jobs in the city since 2014, while KMPG chose Orlando for its $450 million global training center, which Barnes said is the largest capital investment in KMPG history.
Adzuna said that tech company Oracle is the top company hiring in Florida on its site. Boyd said that financial services and tech workers are leaving cities like Boston, Chicago, and New York to move to Florida, but some are coming from overseas in India and Brazil, too.
The rise of remote working has also made it easier for workers to relocate independently of their employers.
Boyd said that the pandemic has created “a time of historic mobility for both companies and people.” Companies are increasingly letting staff work from home on a permanent basis, which allows them to save on real estate costs, he said.
“Orlando was an ideal place to live, work, and play priorto COVID-19, and the region’s offerings will only be more valuable to professionals in the pandemic’s wake,” Barnes told Insider.
This was something Alexandra Scherbich, global head of B2B marketing at Tenth Revolution Group, found when she relocated to Tampa from London in April 2019. She told Insider that managing her colleagues in the UK could be challenging from abroad because of the time zone differences, but that she is able to now dedicate her afternoons to meetings with clients on the West Coast, which would have been much harder in the UK because of the eight-hour time difference.
Florida has a pro-business environment
Florida famously doesn’t have a personal income tax, and this is one of the major motivators for migration, Boyd told Insider. He added that many people moving to the state come from high-tax states that don’t have such a pro-business environment, like Connecticut and New Jersey, as well as New York, which recently announced plans to bump up its income-tax rates for its wealthiest residents.
“And the other part of all this is, you know, economic development really comes down to leadership at the end of the day,” Boyd said.
“Governor DeSantis is a good salesman-in-chief of the state of Florida,” he said. He added that Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez was positioning the city as a major tech market.
Florida has sun, sea, and no lockdown
Florida has also remained largely open during the pandemic compared to other states. This led to people choosing to make Florida their primary residence for the pandemic, Kelly Smallridge, CEO of the Business Development Board (BDB) of Palm Beach County, told Insider.
When people relocated to Florida, they started enrolling their children at nearby schools, and soon found themselves settled down in the state, Smallridge said.
Barnes said that many companies are choosing to expand in or relocate to Florida because “they see it as a destination that will attract workers and their families.”
“Most executives will go take a swim in the beach before they even go to work,” BDB’s Smallridge said. “And, you know, they never have to shovel snow and they don’t have to ride with the subway.”
Scherbich said that, alongside work opportunities, the climate was part of her reason for migrating. She added that she’s settled into the city well and that it has a large UK expatriate community.
Housing and living costs are lower than New York
House prices have gone up around 10% over the past year as more people move to the state, but Florida still has a “very attractive” real-estate market compared to some other major markets in the US, Boyd said, adding that there are affordable housing options “in virtually all parts of Florida.”
The average price for a house in Florida is $277,429, rising to $323,094 in Palm Beach County and $407,245 in Miami, according to data from Zillow. In New York, in comparison, average house prices are $323,094 for the city and $649,490 for the state.
And it isn’t just houses that cost less in the Sunshine Site. Overall living costs in Orlando are 6% lower than the US average, Barnes said.
Florida’s transport networks are growing
There are a lot of transport developments in the pipeline for Florida, too, Boyd said. This includes Brightline, a rail system with investments from Richard Branson’s Virgin, which connects Miami to West Palm Beach, with expansion plans Orlando and Tampa.
And North Miami Beach official told Insider’s Grace Kay the city is in early talks with Elon Musk’s The Boring Company over a possible plan to build a one- to two-mile tunnel to tackle congestion.
The state has more than 100 public airports, and Tampa’s direct flights to London were part of Scherbich’s decision to relocate to the city.
Orlanda in particular bills itself as the “tomorrowland of transportation,” Barnes said. This includes serving as a hub for one of the world’s first jet-powered flying taxis, which will depart from more than 10 locations across Florida. The aircrafts by German startup Lilium will be based at Orlando’s Lake Nona, which Barnes said it “a growing testbed” for smart city technology.
“The signal is really ahead of the curve,” Boyd said.
Larry Ellison is staying in Hawaii full time – and knocking down the $80 million Palm Beach mansion he just bought.
The Oracle billionaire sent an email to employees this week explaining his future plans after reports surfaced that he had purchased a 15,000-square-foot home in South Florida. Ellison confirmed that he had purchased the mansion, but that he’s “tearing the house down and not moving to Florida,” according to Recode’s Theodore Schleifer.
“Last year I moved from California to the island of Lana’i and became a resident of the State of Hawaii,” Ellison wrote. “I love it here and have no plans to move back to Florida, Texas, back to California … or anywhere else.”
Ellison’s home in Palm Beach sits on 7.35 acres, making it the third-largest oceanfront parcel of land in Palm Beach County, according to a real estate listing. The Tuscan-style home, which previously belonged to hedge-fund manager Gabe Hoffman, includes seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and three half-bathrooms, a VIP guest suite, a home theater, a wine room, a chef’s kitchen, a swimming pool, and a tennis court.
The home was built in 1998, and it’s unclear why Ellison would want to knock it down. Ellison already has an extensive real estate portfolio that includes multimillion-dollar homes in San Francisco, Malibu, Lake Tahoe, Rhode Island, and Japan.
Ellison purchased nearly 98% of the island of Lanai in 2012 for a reported $300 million – his purchase included 87,000 of the island’s 90,000 acres of land. Lanai, which is home to about 3,200 residents, is the smallest inhabited island in Hawaii and is home to serene beaches, rugged terrain, high-end resorts, as well as Ellison’s sustainability ambitions, which he’s executing through a development company called Pulama Lanai.
He also launched a wellness company called Sensei in 2018, which is working on three main issues: global food supply, nutrition, and sustainability. Sensei has since launched two 20,000-square-foot hydroponic greenhouses on the island, known as Sensei Farms, and a luxury spa called Sensei Retreat that costs $3,000 a night.
Chris Leavitt, Ashley McIntosh, and Tonja Garamella of Douglas Elliman handled the transaction and declined to comment on the deal.
Ellison said in December that he had moved from California to Lanai, the Hawaiian island he owns.
After Ellison announced in December that he’d be moving Oracle’s headquarters from Redwood Shores, California, to Austin, Texas, he got questions from employees about whether he was also moving to Austin, Recode reported.
“The answer is no. I’ve moved to the state of Hawaii and I’ll be using the power of Zoom to work from the island of Lanai,” Ellison wrote in an email to staffers.
At 7.35 acres, his new Palm Beach property is the third-largest oceanfront parcel of land in Palm Beach County, according to the listing.
Ellison’s newest home purchase adds to the billionaire’s already impressive real-estate collection.
He also owns a 23-acre estate in Woodside, California, and a home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, multiple homes on Malibu’s “Billionaire’s Beach,” and several properties in Lake Tahoe.
An Oracle representative did not respond to Insider’s request for comment for this story.
His newest purchase is the third-largest oceanfront parcel of land in Palm Beach County, according to the listing, which was held by Douglas Elliman. The Tuscan-style estate sits in a gated community and sprawls over more than 15,000 square feet, with 520 feet of ocean frontage. It features a home movie theater, a wine room, a large private pool terrace, and a tennis court.
It’s one of “only a handful of properties in Florida where someone could land and take off in a helicopter from the estate,” according to the listing.
Ellison bought the 7.35-acre property from hedge-fund manager Gabe Hoffman, who put it on the market in June 2020, asking $79.5 million.
With his newest purchase, Ellison joins an affluent community that’s added even more billionaires to its ranks in the past year.
These new ultra-wealthy Palm Beach residents may rub shoulders with longtime billionaire denizens like Stephen Ross, the chairman and owner of Related Cos., which owns Equinox and SoulCycle.
Hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin, who heads Citadel, has spent nearly $250 million over the years on real-estate along Palm Beach’s “Billionaires Row” with reported intentions of building a massive mansion.
Goodbye, Silicon Valley. Hello Texas, Florida, and Hawaii.
Ellison’s Palm Beach purchase is not the only big move the tech billionaire has made during the pandemic.
“I’ve moved to the state of Hawaii and I’ll be using the power of Zoom to work from the island of Lanai,” Ellison wrote in an email to staffers.
It’s unclear whether Ellison plans to make Palm Beach his new home base or simply add it to his collection of homes. He also owns a 23-acre estate in Woodside, California, and a home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, multiple homes on Malibu’s “Billionaire’s Beach,” and several properties in Lake Tahoe.
An Oracle spokesperson did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for this story.
Trump requested a mail-in ballot a week after the deadline in Palm Beach County, according to the report, meaning that he will have until 7 p.m. local time on Tuesday to turn in his ballot and cast his vote in the Palm Beach municipal elections.
Palm Beach County elections chief Wendy Sartory Link said last week that her office had produced 126,136 mail ballots in the county, which covers more than a third of eligible voters in the area.
In Florida, requesting a mail-in ballot covers all elections through the calendar year, according to the Post. The report added that Trump has only cast his vote in person once in Palm Beach.
Trump spread relentless conspiracy theories about mail-in voting during the run-up to and after the 2020 election, falsely claiming that they could be manipulated.
The lies about mail-in voting eventually led to an avalanche of twitter sanctions on the former president’s former tweets, before he was fully de-platformed in the wake of his encouragement of violence during January 6 insurrection.
Trump and Republican allies also filed, and lost, dozens of lawsuits challenging election results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and elsewhere based on unproven claims about mass voter fraud.
Jeffrey Epstein’s New York City townhouse is under contract to sell for $50 million, The Wall Street Journal reported. The deal would be one of the most expensive in New York over the last year.
Jeffrey Epstein’s lavish New York townhouse and Palm Beach residence hit the market for a combined $110 million in July. The New York home was originally listed for $88 million, while the Palm Beach house sold in December for $18 million, $4 million under the asking price. The Palm Beach estate is set to be demolished.
The proceeds from the sales will go to Epstein’s estate, which has established a victim’s fund for the women accusing Epstein of sexually abusing them when they were minors.
Epstein was accused of luring young girls and then sexually abusing them at both properties. Last July, investigators said they found “hundreds” of nude photos of girls, some of whom appeared to be underage, at his New York townhouse. And in 2018, the Miami Herald reported that dozens of girls were routinely abused in his Palm Beach mansion.
In June, a compensation fund, bankrolled by Epstein’s multi-million dollar estate, opened for victims of Epstein’s abuse. Victims can apply for these funds outside of court and there is no cap on claims.
Epstein’s Upper East Side property is one of the largest private homes in the city, with 7 stories and 28,000 feet, according to Modlin Group, which is brokering the deal. It’s more than twice the width of a standard row home.
“It’s definitely a trophy property,” said Kyle Egan, a New York-based real-estate agent not involved in the sale. “Does it have a recent, very negative past? Totally. But I don’t think that will give buyers pause. A property like this comes up so infrequently.”
Epstein’s estate has been valued at more than $600 million, and also features a private island in the US Virgin Islands, and properties in New Mexico and Paris.
Appaloosa Management already has an office in Miami Beach, Florida, and Tepper owns a nearby condo, which he bought in 2017 for $10.7 million, according to the Journal. Still, his latest home purchase signals a commitment to South Florida at a time when Wall Street firms and their executives are heading south, lured by a low tax burden.
Wall Street luminaries like Carl Icahn and Charles Schwab have also relocated from New York to Florida, and in January, hedge-fund billionaire Dan Loeb purchased a mansion in Miami Beach for $20 million. The seven-bedroom waterfront home features amenities such as a home theater, a private boat dock, and separate guest quarters.
The migration is being echoed in the tech industry as well. Tech billionaire Peter Thiel recently purchased an $18 million Miami compound on a manmade island and Shutterstock billionaire Jon Oringer paid $42 million for a sprawling Miami Beach mansion in October. Prolific investor Keith Rabois has also been outspoken about moving to Miami, citing low taxes as well as ideological diversity as his reasons for moving.
The influx of wealthy executives is sending South Florida home prices soaring: According to data from real estate firm Douglas Elliman, the median home sale price in Palm Beach shot up to $4.9 million by the end of 2020, an increase of 29% from the year earlier.
Top officials in Palm Beach, Florida, met on Zoom to determine whether Trump will be permitted to continue living in Mar-a-Lago, the members-only club he purchased in 1985, where he moved to after his presidential term ended in January.
Ever since Trump changed his legal residence from New York to Florida in 2019 (Florida has lower taxes), his neighbors have openly dreaded him moving there. Some of the neighbors have tried to stop the town of Palm Beach from permitting him to use Mar-a-Lago as his permanent residence, citing a 1993 agreement Trump signed, and evict him.
The agreement, as Insider’s Thomas Colson reported, transformed it from a residence to a private club and forbids guests from staying there for more than “three non-consecutive seven day periods” a year.
Mar-a-Lago can be a club or a residence, they argue, but it cannot be both.
‘The mayor of Mar-a-Lago’
Meeting on Zoom Monday, Maggie Zeidman, the president of the Palm Beach Town Council, said the governing body would make a decision on the issue in April. She also said she personally believed Trump should be able to continue to reside at Mar-a-Lago.
But at the urging of the town manager Kirk Blouin – who said he receives “hundreds of emails a day” on the issue – the town attorney, John “Skip” Randolph held a presentation on the legality of the matter. The council also gave an attorney representing Trump a chance to respond, as well as attorneys representing Trump’s neighbors and a group called Preserve Palm Beach.
According to Randolph, the 1993 agreement allows “bona fide employees” to use Mar-a-Lago as “living quarters.” The question, then, is whether Trump is a Mar-a-Lago employee. The restriction over guests, he said, doesn’t apply.
Trump’s attorney at the hearing, John Marion said the former president is indeed an employee. He said Trump is involved in the club’s finances, evaluates employee performance, and oversees the property in other ways.
“This guy, he wanders the property like the mayor of the town of Mar-a-Lago,” Marion said of Trump. “He’s ever-present, and he loves it there, and he loves the people that he sees there.”
He also pointed out that Trump has stayed at Mar-a-Lago, in the past 22 years, for longer periods than described under the “guest” restrictions before.
“This debate, I think, is silly,” Marion said.
‘A permanent beacon for his more rabid, lawless supporters’
Philip Johnson, the attorney representing Preserve Palm Beach, said he worried that Trump’s residency could welcome some of his more unsavory supporters.
“We feel that this issue threatens to make Mar-a-Lago into a permanent beacon for his more rabid, lawless supporters,” Johnson said.
He also said that giving Trump the power to determine who does and doesn’t count as a Mar-a-Lago employee was irrational, and that it would effectively permit him to create his own zoning laws.
“If officers of Mar-A-Lago LLC are permitted to reside at the club, then there’s no limitation as to how many residents will be able to live there since the club controls the number of officers,” Johnson said. “In other words, the town could not limit the number of residents. Does it does the council want more eligible to be a multifamily residence?”
Reginald Stambaugh, the lawyer representing Trump’s neighbors, said the town of Palm Beach has repeatedly violated the resolution over the decades, not permitting his clients to “peacefully enjoy the privacy afforded to others on the island.”
“My clients purchased their homes after the agreement was signed with a reasonable expectation that this legal contract would be honored and enforced by the town,” he said.
‘A horrible imposition’
Marion appeared sympathetic to the neighbors’ concerns, acknowledging there were “more than 100” Secret Service agents at a time in the area while Trump was president, in addition to sheriffs’ officers, barriers, and blocked roadways that amounted to “an imposition to the neighbors” on Woodbridge Road.
But, Marion said, things have gotten better.
“The Secret Service is now limited to about 10 people,” he said. “As of Sunday night a week ago, all of the Secret Service people that had been out and around the property are gone. The barriers have been removed. Things have changed. And I think it’s going to stay that way.”
Marion told them to be careful what they wished for.
“If former President Trump had to move on to Woodbridge for some reason, there would be barriers across the front of that property,” he said. “There would be guards and Secret Service personnel in front of that roadway. There would be dogs sniffing the vehicles and checking in the vehicles every time a resident on Woodbridge were to go home or leave, or their guests came or left.”
“It would be a horrible imposition for them if they got what they wanted,” he added.