Former Sony Music chairman Thomas D. Mottola and his singer-actress wife, Ariadna Sodi Miranda, who goes by the professional name Thalía, have sold their five-bedroom house on a double lot at 302 Caribbean Road for about $6.53 million, the price recorded on last week's warranty deed.
view more images from this album
W. Stephen and Muffie Bancroft Murray of Palm Beach and Westport, Connecticut, paid about $530,000 more than what the sellers had paid for the new house in June 2008, several months before the island's real estate boom fizzled.
Last month, the Murrays also bought a smaller house on a single lot at 305 Mediterranean Road, south of and contiguous to the one they just acquired in the July 2 deal. They paid a recorded $910,000 for that house.
Agent Liza Pulitzer of Brown Harris Stevens acted on behalf of the Murrays in both transactions for the landlocked properties near the Intracoastal Waterway in the far North End. In all, the Murrays' two properties measure nearly seven-tenths of an acre.
The Murrays could not be reached for comment.
Pulitzer would not provide details about the transaction. Her brother, Peter Pulitzer, also an agent with Brown Harris Stevens, said he was familiar with the deal but couldn’t comment on it.
Listing agents Paulette Koch and Dana Koch of the Corcoran Group had set a price of $7.45 million for the two-story house on Caribbean Road when they began marketing it in November, and they later dropped the price by $100,000. The lot measures about 130 square feet by 150 square feet, according to Corcoran's listing.
Developed as spec house
After Mottola and his wife bought it, they asked builder Paul Wittmann to carry out several more projects, including the addition of a summer kitchen, Wittmann said.
Corcoran's sales listing mentioned the home's "flawless chef's kitchen", along with a master bedroom with a terrace, high ceilings, detailed millwork, outdoor loggias and a 40-foot pool. "This house had so many selling points", Paulette Koch said. "It's extremely private, and from the second story, you can almost see forever. The view corridors are exceptional".
The two-bedroom house the Murrays bought on Mediterranean Road, meanwhile, has lately been used as a rental property. Built in 1950, it was offered at $990,000 by agents Gary Little and Lynn Warren of Fite Shavell & Associates, who had dropped the price from $1.195 million.
The deed recorded June 13 shows the seller as a Florida limited liability company named Westport Palm Beach LLC, through which the property was jointly owned by Fite Shavell Principal Wade Shavell and Scott and Sherry Turkell, according to Shavell.
Through another limited liability company, Shavell and the Turkells also owned a home at 1510 N. Lake Way — next door to the Mediterranean Road house — that sold for a recorded $912,500 in April, but the Murrays were not involved in that deal. Little and Warren were the listing agents, and the buyers, Stuart M. and Hilary Dweck, were represented by J. Richard Allison II of Mirsky Valore Real Estate.
Fite Shavell had tried to market the two properties as a prime opportunity for a single buyer, especially since they were contiguous with the then-on-the-market property on Caribbean Road, Warren said. Taken together, Warren said, the lots on Mediterranean Road and North Lake Way would measure about 150 feet by 130 feet.
"Unfortunately, the timing didn’t work out quite right", Warren said.
The Murrays' two properties overlook an expansive vacant lakefront parcel at 318 Caribbean Road. But that lot is not for sale, at least according to the multiple listing services that serve the island. There was nothing to indicate last week that the Murrays were looking to acquire that property.
Muffie Bancroft Murray's socialite mother was the late Standard Oil heiress Peggy Bedford Bancroft, whose first husband was Tommy Bancroft, and who became, via later marriages, the Princess d’Arenberg and the Duchess d'Uzès.
The Murrays own a Westport waterfront estate in Green Farms facing Long Island Sound. The couple also owns a townhome on Australian Avenue; it has not been listed for sale in the MLS.
Neither Mattola nor Miranda could be reached for comment. They own no other property under their names in Palm Beach County, records show.
Mottola was chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment until 2003. Among the many singers whose careers he advanced was Mariah Carey, one of his two ex-wives. Today, he co-owns Casablanca Records in a joint venture with the Universal Music Group.
Miranda, as Thalía, became famous in the 1990s as a soap-opera star in her native Mexico and has also been nominated for multiple Latin Grammys for her recordings.