Singer Island Residents Enjoy the Perks of Worth Avenue, Clematis

September 19, 2011 | News

The_Palm_Beach_PostLovers of art and fashion soon will have two more places to shop.

Prominent New York art collector Mark Borghi has snapped up the retail space next to Tiffany & Co. on Worth Avenue, with plans to open a Palm Beach location of his Mark Borghi Fine Art gallery.

Meanwhile, across the bridge in West Palm Beach, fashion designer Cindy Bapst plans to open a Union of Angels store in the 500 block of Clematis Street. Union of Angels describes itself as “equestrian meets rock star,” with bohemian and resort style offerings as well. Virginia based-Bapst has produced several fashion shows and was a candidate for designer of the year in Miami recently, according to the company’s website,

Union of Angels clothes are featured in boutiques in such exotic destinations as St. Barth’s, but Bapst wants to open her own stores to get better feedback from shoppers, said Theresa Thompson, Union of Angels operations director and an owner of the West Palm Beach store.

“She wants to get a better pulse on how consumers feel about her line,” Thompson said.

In addition to West Palm Beach, which will hold a “soft” opening in October, Union of Angels also plans stores in Nashville, San Diego and Aspen, along with a new location in Virginia. West Palm Beach’s grand opening is set for January.

Gladstone Realty’s Jonathan Gladstone, who owns the space at 537 Clematis where Union of Angels will open, said he kept the space available for “a long time,” waiting for the right tenant.

Gladstone has sought to make a fine arts environment of the 500 block, which is home to the notable Habatat Galleries . The block’s artsy character appealed to Union of Angels, Thompson said. The company also liked a courtyard in back, where Union of Angels plans to hold trunk shows.

Although the store hopes to attract discriminating Palm Beach shoppers, Thompson said the feminine, wearable clothes are attainable, with the average price point around $100. “Our target is to allow people to enjoy designer clothes at an affordable price,” Thompson said.

Meanwhile, on Palm Beach, look for Mark Borghi Fine Art to open later this year at 255 Worth Ave. Mark Borghi Fine Art specializes in American modern, European modern and contemporary art, and focuses especially on American Post-War, according to the gallery’s website.

The Worth Avenue space formerly was home to Coach, the New York City-based leather goods purveyor. Two years ago, Coach shut its Palm Beach store, along with stores in Connecticut, Nevada and San Francisco.

Paul Snitkin, of Anderson & Carr in West Palm Beach, said the space subsequently was occupied by a temporary tenant, but otherwise has been available since 2009 for lease. Lots of prospective tenants inquired, Snitkin said, but they wanted a deal, offering only about two-thirds of the owner’s asking rent. (Snitkin wouldn’t disclose the rent amount.)

Snitkin said he urged the property’s owner, the Madden family, to hold out for a tenant who would pay full price.

The reason?

Location. “Everyone goes to Tiffany’s right next door,” Snitkin said./


Snitkin said Borghi immediately saw the value of being next door to the premier jeweler.

“He was on board right away,” Snitkin said of Borghi. “It was the easiest lease negotiation I ever had. He looked at the lease, and he signed it.”

Borghi said he decided to open an art gallery in Palm Beach because he has been doing fairs in West Palm Beach “for quite a while, and we always had great space. The availability of the space on Worth Avenue was too tempting for us. It’s a great location.” Plus, he added: “I’m getting tired of the winters up here.”

Sales continue at the sizzling Ritz-Carlton Residences Singer Island.

You wouldn’t know the economy is in the doldrums to hear the condo’s representative talk about recent sales.


“We had an extraordinary August, which is typically a time that is quieter,” said Carolyn Block Ellert, of┬áMeridian Investment Group in Fort Lauderdale.

Five deals totaling $13.6 million in sales recently were inked, including a 7,500-square-foot unit that sold for $4.3 million, Block Ellert said. The sales are expected to close by the end of the month.

The twin tower, 27-story complex consists of 242 units and is more than 53 percent sold. Block Ellert said recent sales may have been spurred by buyers concerned that prices will rise during the winter season. Many buyers also are eager to have their places ready in time to escape winter’s grasp later this year.

In addition, economic uncertainty and wild fluctuations in the stock market have prompted well-heeled individuals to take another look at putting their cash into hard assets such as real estate, Block Ellert said.

The property, formerly known as 2700 North Ocean, was branded a Ritz residence after a Miami company, Lionheart Capital LLC, bought 146 unsold units from Dan Catalfumo in 2010./


Written by Alexandra Clough for

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