The West Palm Beach condo-selling season starts off early with strong sales at La Clara, as some units at The Bristol go on the market for resale.

Buyers may be putting a luxury condominium in their shopping cart this holiday season, judging by the action at two new West Palm Beach condominiums.

At La Clara, an 83-unit condominium at 1515 S. Flagler Dr., sales just hit $50 million in sales, according to its developer, Great Gulf of Toronto. Among the sales: A penthouse unit for $8.85 million sold during the summer.

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In November alone, five units went under contract, bringing the condo to more than 20 percent pre-sold, said Christopher Leavitt, executive director of luxury sales at Douglas Elliman Real Estate on Palm Beach. The five La Clara units sold in November ranged in price from $1.15 million to more than $4 million, Leavitt said.

Meanwhile, seven units at The Bristol, an ultra-luxury condominium tower at 1100 S. Flagler Dr., are going on the market as resales. Prices at The Bristol are much steeper, and the units up for resale range from $6.995 million to $12.95 million.

Leavitt said La Clara’s November surprisingly strong sales indicate the winter selling season, which typically starts in January, might be starting earlier this year. “If we’re starting this early, this robust, we are in very good shape,” Leavitt said.

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La Clara features a modern, contemporary design by architect Siamak Hariri. The styling of La Clara, which means “clear” in Spanish, is intended to bring as much light into the units as possible. Each unit has a big private terrace for an extra indoor-outdoor feeling.

Building amenities include an outdoor swimming pool with cabanas and outdoor dining area, an indoor fitness center, spa, massage rooms, sauna, entertainment room, lounge with dining area, conference room and business center.

Leavitt cited several reasons for La Clara’s strong sales month.

They include the changed tax law, which is driving residents to Florida from high-tax states in the Northeast. West Palm Beach’s rising profile as a haven for finance-related firms also is driving demand, he said.

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In addition, The Bristol’s success legitimized West Palm Beach as a suitable place to live for Palm Beach residents who previously had not considered living anywhere but the island.

Finally, the mostly sold-out The Bristol has prompted international attention to West Palm Beach, pushing buyers to the next new thing in town, La Clara.

Although units are lower in price and smaller in size, La Clara has some of the same features that drew rich buyers to The Bristol. La Clara features a limited number of units, Intracoastal waterway, Palm Beach and ocean views, and a marketing pitch that brands La Clara a Palm Beach property when it’s really in West Palm Beach.

“All eyes are on South Florida, especially Palm Beach and West Palm Beach on the waterfront,” Leavitt said.

Indeed, only three of the The Bristol’s 68 units remain available for sale direct from the project’s developer, Flagler Investors.

Now Leavitt said he’s starting to resell units from owners.

These units are built out and ready for occupancy, but they’re no longer wanted by owners who may have purchased them as far back as 2015, when sales first began, Leavitt said. He insisted the owners aren’t “flippers” but, rather, owners whose circumstances may have changed.

Leavitt doesn’t think the resales will take long to trade. In fact, he said there are buyers who long ago expressed interest in the condo’s renderings, but wanted to see the units completed before putting down the big money to buy.

With The Bristol open and people living there, would-be buyers can see the finished product for themselves.


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