Brian Bandell – Senior Reporter – South Florida Business Journal
Kolter Group closed a big deal it’s had brewing all year, the purchase of the 602.9-acre Briger parcel in Palm Beach Gardens.
The property is of key importance to the future of the region’s biotech industry because it’s near the Scripps Research Institute and the Max Planck Society. Kolter paid $127.5 million for the land in five transactions with the families of Richard Thall, Robert Thall, Paul L. Briger, Patricia B. Lester, Howard Lester and David Minkin.
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The seller provided $102.5 million in financing to Kolter. The West Palm Beach-based developer also got a $39.2 million mortgage from Regions Bank for a portion of the property.
Kolter Group made the purchases through affiliates Heights Biotech Investments, Grandiflora Multifamily Investments, KH Alton, KG Donald Ross and Parkside Retail Investments.
The first phase of Kolter’s plans for the property is 215 single-family homes and 143 townhomes. The property’s zoning allows 2.4 million square feet of biotech space, 450,000 square feet for a town center and 2,700 homes. It’s thought that much of the hoped-for biotech spin off companies around Scripps and Max Planck will be housed there.
Palm Beach County previously acquired 70 acres of the Briger parcel for $8 million and has pledged it to Scripps for the second phase of its development. Scripps proposed putting a hospital on that site with Tenet Healthcare Corp., but state regulators rejected those plans.