The buyer of 309 Chapel Hill Road was Ryan Wilson, who acted as trustee of two trusts. The house was sold by Robert G. Dettmer and built in 1981 by the late developer Robert Gottfried.
A house on one of the highest points in Midtown Palm Beach has sold for $15.5 million, the price recorded with the deed.
The four-bedroom house at 309 Chapel Hill Road was the home of Robert G. Dettmer and his late wife, Patricia.
The deed lists the buyer as Ryan Wilson, who acted as trustee of two revocable trusts, each with a 50% ownership interest as a “tenant in common.” Both trusts are named after the road where the house stands.
Because of strict rules governing trusts, no other information about the buyer’s side of the deal was immediately available in public records.
Built in 1981, the house has 5,050 square feet of living space, inside and out. It stands on a lot measuring about a third of an acre.
The property is on a tucked-away cul-de-sac bordered on the north by the Royal Poinciana Chapel. The short lake-block street traverses a hill that rises toward the waterfront from Cocoanut Row, an unusual topographical setting in Midtown.
“It’s very quiet and we are 15 feet above sea level,” Robert Dettmer told the Palm Beach Daily News in July, shortly after he listed the house for sale at just under $16 million.
Higher elevations have become key selling points over the past several years in Palm Beach amid stiffer federal flood-plain regulations and buyers’ concerns about the possibility of flooding in an era of climate change and rising seas.
The house was built by the late developer Robert Gottfried in his signature “Gottfried Regency” style. The architecture features a blend of classical elements with a symmetrical façade, pilasters and ball finials at the roofline.
The layout features an open-air courtyard with an awning-covered patio on one side of the main living area. On the other side is an enclosed loggia facing the pool.
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With ties to Greenwich, Connecticut, the Dettmers bought the house from the late interior designer Ann Downey for $4.53 million in 2010, according to property records.
Before his retirement in 1996, Robert Dettmer’s professional resume including longtime tenure as an executive with Pepsico, where his duties included serving as president of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Group in Purchase, New York.
Patricia Dettmer was a former stock portfolio analyst and bond trader. She died at 90 on June 12.
Broker Linda R. Olsson of Linda Olsson Inc, Realtor, listed the house for sale in late June. The house landed under contract in early October, and the sale closed Nov. 2.
The MLS shows the buyer’s side of the sale was handled by Christian Angle, broker at Christian Angle Real Estate.
The house twice had other contracts pending after it was listed but the deals fell through, the MLS shows.
Ceilings in most of the rooms rise 12 feet, and floors are finished in marble, hardwood and tile. Abundant windows and glass doors bring natural light into the interior, which features generously proportioned rooms.
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When they first saw the house, the Dettmers were impressed with its condition and Downey’s interiors, Dettmer recalled in July.
“It didn’t need any construction work, and Ann helped us decorate the house — that was part of our deal,” he said.
Design details include a wood-burning fireplace in the living room and a wet bar off the foyer. Bath fixtures throughout are by Sherle Wagner International.
Other selling points mentioned in the sales listing included an electrical connection to charge a Tesla, a full-house generator and electrically operated shutters.
Chapel Hill Road has only five houses and they rarely enter the market. But a lakeside house at 315 Chapel Hill Road, at the western terminus of the street, was recently listed by Angle at $59.5 million.
This story was updated Nov. 7, 2023 — the day the deed recorded for the sale of 309 Chapel Hill Road in Palm Beach — to add information about the buyer. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.