Palming Off Il Palmetto

Palming Off Il Palmetto – Il Palmetto, 1500 South Ocean Boulevard, A1A, Palm Beach, Florida, FL 33480, United States of America – For sale for £105 million ($137 million, €117 million or درهم503 million) through Sotheby’s International Realty – Home to Netscape founder James H. Clark

Billionaire founder of Netscape has failed to sell his Palm Beach mansion in a year; it remains on the market for £105 million (or 754% more than he paid for it in 1999)


Four times married, a father of four and a collector of rather large gin palaces, Texan James H. Clark founded Netscape in 1994 and earnt $2 billion (the equivalent of $3 billion, £2.3 billion, €2.6 billion or درهم11 billion today) from that project when it was sold to AOL in 1998.


Clark paid just $11 million for a Palm Beach mansion named ‘Il Palmetto’ in 1999 (the equivalent of $16.2 million, £12.3 million €13.8 million or درهم59.5 million today) and spent four years renovating the 5.46-acre property. He placed it for sale for $137 million (£105 million, €117 million or درهم503 million) last August but has plainly failed to attract a buyer.


Built to the designs of the Swiss architect Maurice Fatio (1897 – 1943) as an “Italian Renaissance-style palazzo” in 1930, the house – which is also known as 1500 South Ocean Boulevard – is described by selling agents Sotheby’s International Realty as “without peer in Palm Beach.” The building was subjected to a four year renovation by Mr Clark, reportedly extends to around 44,200 square foot and aside from including 10 bedrooms, 14 full-bathrooms and 12 partial-bathrooms, also comes with a 20,000 bottle wine cellar and a second cellar for an additional 1,000 crates.


Architecturally “a series of pavilions connected by cloisters,” the main house is dominated by formal entertaining areas with 16th century carved ceilings and accessed from a private tunnel underneath the road is a 2-bedroom beach house with an infinity pool that “blends into the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean.” To the other boundary, on Lake Worth, is a boathouse with motorised launches for two vessels and a 2-bedroom apartment above.




  1. Why does anyone need a house this big? It is ridiculous. It should be sub-divided to house many families. A fine example of greed and ridiculous behavior. No wonder it isn’t selling.

    • Ian,

      I can’t agree with you less. He paid for the house with his own money. He employed many people who got to earn a living by applying their skills. You judge with out knowledge. How many charities does he support with HIS money? You don’t know! Quit your jealousy it makes you a person of hate.

    • Why is it that people always want high achievers that rise to the top and earn a great deal to GIVE it away to people who choose to do nothing with their lives? Homes like this exist as incentives to us all to strive to attain the highest level of existence we can.

  2. At least you can save an exorbitant amount of money on petrol when travelling to the local swimming pool and boating lake, if you lived here

    • It has access to Lake Worth directly to one side and via a tunnel under the road and its beach house to the Atlantic on the other. There are at least two swimming pools, so one is well served there too. Your point is spot on, Glenys.

    • I agree with you Zach. The market is telling that is asking price is not right. I’ll watch to see the final sales price. Don’t know market well but I’m guessing sale price will be less than 100 million.

  3. This is an incredible estate. Formerly owned by one of the Annenberg sisters. Due to it’s provenance and location, pricing is subjective. However, I do agree that a price reduction is in order.

  4. As a property professional, I would say this is a very bad buy. If it had proper ocean frontage (rather than a road in between) it would be better. The tunnel is a compromise too far and I do not think it will sell for $100m even.


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