Selected Press

Villa Plati Project Nearing Completion
By Marian King, Daily News Business Editor, Palm Beach Daily News, Sunday, April 15, 1990

Before the first shovel hit the dirt at Villa Plati, 15 Bradley Place, 10 of the 15 townhomes were sold, according to developer Enrico Plati.

That would not be so remarkable, Plati explained, except each townhome costs approximately $1 million, and buyers were "anxious" to get a piece of the former Palm Beach Spa property overlooking Lake Worth.

"Our townhouses practically sold themselves," Plati said. "When people found out we were building here, they approached us about getting in on the ground floor of the project."

Plati said the first units will be ready n June, with completion scheduled for late fall.

Plati and Robert (Uri) Heller are co-developers of Villa Plati with a partnership called Palm Beach Townhouses Limited Partnership. Architectural design for the $20 million project was provided by Patrick Segraves of SKA Architect & Planner Inc. in Palm Beach. Patricia Watts Wearn Real Estate Inc. and Sotheby's International Realty Inc. are handling sales on the property.

"Originally, plans called for a project with 29 units on the site," Plati said. "When we bought the land from the MacArthur Foundation in 1988, we looked at the market and decided it would not be receptive to that high density. We decided on a new concept and a different approach to the property. We wanted to build a community of homes on the two acres of property."

Plati studied architecture at Politecnico Di Architettura Di Torino in Torino, Italy, and received his master's degree in urban design at Syracuse University. He also taught architecture and urban design at Syracuse University and at the University of Notre Dame. He holds a doctorate in architecture from the Torino university.

"Urban design is one of my favorite areas of architecture, Plati said. "That's one reason I was excited about developing this project. The site is wonderful. It faces Lake Worth, it's on the bicycle trail, it has an Olympic-size pool and a courtyard area. We thought it was the last great piece of land left in Palm Beach and a good investment."

After the old spa was demolished n September 1983, the two-acre site stood vacant for more than five years.

"They called on me two years ago to enter into the project because of my success with previous urban development projects," Plati said.

Plati is a principal partner and developer in five townhouse projects and one multi-use townhouse project in the Chicago area. The Sangamon Center, the multi-use project, is a 180,000-square-foot complex of loft apartments, office space and retail space. One of the townhouse projects is the renovation of St. Michael's High School, which is being converted into 41 residential units.

In Palm Beach, Plati and his partners in the waterfront project refer to Villa Plati as "townhomes" rather than "townhouses" because the word townhouse denotes "condominiums or apartments," Plati said. "These are second homes for most of the buyers."

Although floor plans vary in the three buildings, each unit contains approximately 3,400 square feet of space with three bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, a library, large kitchen, security system, breakfast area, bar, three-car garage, storage space, optional elevator and other amenities.