A Palm Beach mansion on a plot of land that Trump once owned is about to sell for $140 million, and it could shatter the area’s real-estate record

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President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump return to the White House from Palm Beach on December 31, 2020. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

A sprawling mansion on a two-acre plot of land that once belonged to President Donald Trump is in contract to sell for nearly $US140 million, The Wall Street Journal’s Katherine Clarke reported.

The property had only been on the market for a month, listed on January 8 at $US140 million, the Palm Beach Daily News had reported. The buyer went into contract on the home less than 24 hours after seeing it, according to Ryan Serhant, the broker representing the buyer.

If the property sale goes through, it would shatter Palm Beach’s real-estate record, which is currently held by a 70,000-square-foot estate on Palm Beach’s Billionaires’ Row that sold for $US111 million in 2019 to hedge-fund billionaire Steven Schonfeld and his wife. It would also be one of the most expensive single-family homes ever sold in the US (the $US165 million Beverly Hills mansion Jeff Bezos purchased in 2020 holds that title), Clarke reported.

The newly built home is right on the beach, about a 10-minute drive from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. The nine-bedroom residence has more than 21,000 square feet of living space, a separate guest house, and a massive oceanfront swimming pool, according to the listing.

Trump bought the land where the current home sits at a bankruptcy auction in 2004 for $US41 million, when it was part of a larger six-acre plot. Two years later, he put all six acres on the market for $US125 million. In 2008, he found a buyer in Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who paid $US95 million for the land, breaking Palm Beach’s real-estate record at the time.

Rybolovlev, who made his estimated $US6.7 billion fortune in Russia’s fertiliser industry, reportedly never lived on the property, instead demolishing the house that was there, chopping the land into three separate lots, and selling them off.

He offloaded the last parcel — where the $US140 million mansion sits — for $US37 million to developer Mark Pulte in 2019, who then built today’s lavish contemporary residence, according to the Real Deal.

Dmitry Rybolovlev
Dmitry Rybolovlev reportedly never lived at the Palm Beach property he bought for $US95 million. Xavier Laine/Getty Images

The sale of the three lots — as well as the 2008 sale — were all brokered by the same agent: Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates. Moens did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Trump’s sale of the land to Rybolovlev in 2008 became a source of interest in 2016, when Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote an explosive dossier alleging ties between Trump and Russia, said that Trump’s land and hotel deals should be investigated. Both Trump and Rybolovlev have said that they never met during the transaction or at any other time.

The White House and Rybolovlev’s spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

Rumours of a Palm Beach post-presidency life

The property he sold to Rybolovlev is not, of course, even Trump’s most famous piece of Palm Beach real estate.

That would be his exclusive Mar-a-Lago Club, where the president is rumoured to be moving after his term ends. The White House has not commented on the president’s official plans after he leaves office later this month, but in 2019 Trump switched his primary residence from Trump Tower in New York to Mar-a-Lago.

Mar A Lago
Mar-a-Lago. Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock

In December, People reported that Trump had ordered renovations to be made to his Mar-a-Lago residence and Melania Trump was reportedly looking at schools in the area for the couple’s 14-year-old son, Barron Trump.

Trump also owns three other homes near Mar-a-Lago that are worth a collective $US36 million, according to Forbes.

Palm Beach’s real-estate market has been on fire during the pandemic. Many affluent buyers have relocated to the area as hedge funds and Wall Street firm move their offices from New York to Florida, Bloomberg reported.

More than 20 homes sold for above $US20 million in 2020 — more than double the number sold in 2019, per the report. Some of those were high-profile transactions like private equity billionaire Robert F. Smith’s purchase of two North Palm Beach homes for $US48 million in October 2020.