For a small but telling example of how the luxury residential real estate market has been battered by the deepening financial crisis, consider the case of Breakers Sound, a Jupiter condo building with just four units. Only the penthouse, the property’s most expensive unit, has sold — and at a hefty discount. The other three condos are in foreclosure, according to a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach Circuit Court.
Breakers Sound is a five-story building at 120 Jupiter Key Road with one unit per floor above a parking garage. Each unit features about 6,000 square feet, four bedrooms, 4½ baths, two fireplaces, a library and 360-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean. The units were priced from between $5.7 million to $6 million, depending on the floor.
Developer Gordon Ripma, of Tequesta-based Florida Development Trend, was able to sell the penthouse for $2.9 million, about half of what he wanted. The buyers were Ralph O. Glendinning and Ann Mildred Glendinning.
The other three units ended up in foreclosure when Ripma defaulted on the construction loan he had with Fifth Third Bank.
Neither Ripma nor Fifth Third Bank’s attorney on the case returned calls for comment.
Fifth Third Bank lent Ripma $6.8 million in late 2005 to build the project. In 2007, the developer and received additional $2.6 million. Ripma paid off a portion the loan with the sale of the penthouse in late 2007, but still owes the remaining $6.4 million, according to the foreclosure lawsuit.