Billionaire Ken Griffin, the hedge fund manager who is moving his family and his companies to Miami, secured design approval for an oceanfront estate in Palm Beach he is building for his mother.
Griffin, founder of Citadel and the financial services firm Citadel Securities, has spent more than $350 million assembling land along Blossom Way and South Ocean Boulevard over the last decade. The majority of those deals have been brokered by top Palm Beach broker Lawrence Moens. Griffin’s latest plans for part of the property were approved by the Palm Beach Architectural Commission in late June, according to a recording of the meeting.
Griffin, a Daytona Beach native who has amassed a net worth of more than $25 billion, announced last month he is moving Citadel and Citadel Securities’ headquarters from Chicago to Miami. In addition to Palm Beach, Griffin also owns pricey residential real estate on Miami Beach’s Star Island and in Coral Gables.
Citadel is reportedly the buyer of the record $363 million purchase of the commercial site at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive in Miami, where the company is expected to develop its new headquarters. Sterling Bay was tapped to develop the bayfront building.
In Palm Beach, the planned one-story compound at 60 Blossom Way will be for Griffin’s mother, Catherine Gratz Griffin. Seattle architecture firm Olsun Kundig, along with West Palm Beach-based Smith and Moore Architects, and other firms designed the plans for a main house, guest home, pools, gardens and other landscaping. The plans replace a previous proposal that was approved in 2016 for a long, 11.5-acre waterfront estate.
At the June 29 meeting, one neighbor objected to the size of the planned house and took issue with the beach access in relation to Griffin’s nearly 8-acre property. The 21,433-square-foot main home will include a master suite, home theater, living room, family room, office, gym and salt room. A landscaped pavilion will separate it from the 7,131-square-foot guest house on the northern portion of the property, and the estate would also include play fields and landscaped lawns where events could be held.
Timothy Hanlon, an attorney with Alley, Maass, Rogers & Lindsay, represents John and Margaret Thornton, the owners of the property immediately north at 1236 South Ocean Boulevard.
“We are objecting to the proposal because of the inordinate size of the home,” Hanlon said, adding that it “fails to meet ARCOM [Architectural Commission] criteria” and is not in harmony with the neighboring properties.
Though it passed, two ARCOM board members voted against the proposal. The Palm Beach Daily News first reported the approval.
Griffin’s move to South Florida has been in the works for years, but the timeline appears to have accelerated during the pandemic. He set up a temporary trading room for Citadel Securities at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach when Covid began.
Most recently, Griffin was also linked to the $287 million sale of the office building across the street from the lot at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive. If Griffin/Citadel purchased both properties, that brings their total to $650 million spent on commercial real estate in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood. A spokesperson for Citadel has declined to comment on the purchases.
Over the past two years, Griffin sold two units at the Faena House oceanfront condo tower in Mid-Miami Beach, acquired homes on Star Island in Miami Beach, and paid $45 million for a mansion in Coral Gables.