The Ocean City Council has voted unanimously to tighten development controls, approving new regulations that will cut allowable density in some areas by as much as 40 percent.
In approving the new density plan Monday night, the council lifted a three-week-old building moratorium. The moratorium had been approved by emergency ordinance to avoid a rush of site plans under the old density code.
The regulations approved by the council increase the minimum lot size for single-family homes and decrease the number of allowable units on multi-family building sites.
Mayor Roland (Fish) Powell said the new density plan will help to better preserve open space in the resort. He said he believed it also would result in better buildings being constructed.
New York developer Donald Trump has bought the famed Mar-a-Lago estate, its furnishings and some adjoining land in Palm Beach, Fla., for somewhere between $10 million and $15 million.
Trump paid $5 million for the legendary mansion and $2 million for a nearby strip of oceanfront, according to records filed with the Palm Beach county clerk. But those records pertain only to land and buildings. They do not include the value of the estate's extensive furnishings, which Trump also bought.
Norma Foederer of the Trump organization in Manhattan refused to say what Trump paid in total for Mar-a-Lago, but said even the $7 million figure is well short of the mark. She said the actual price was closer to the $10 million to $15 million that many people had expected a buyer to pay.
Trump, a headline-making entrepreneur best known as developer of Manhattan's Trump Tower and owner of the New Jersey Generals professional football team, closed on the 118-room, 58-year-old estate last week. He bought it from the Marjorie Merriweather Post Foundation, which had been trying to sell the palatial retreat for several years. Post, Palm Beach's reigning socialite for nearly 50 years, died in 1973.
Rodney Dillard, senior vice president of Sotheby's International Realty in Palm Beach, estimated that the furnishings might be worth up to $3 million.
Even taking that into account, he and other Palm Beach residents expressed their shock that Mar-a-Lago didn't cost more.
"I was very surprised. I thought it would have been more than" $5 million for the estate itself, said Dillard, who said the sale price was probably an indication of the difficulty in finding buyers for the old mansion.
The purchase price also surprised Houston developer Cerf Stanford Ross, who just this past May had agreed to buy the property for $14.3 million. Ross said Thursday that figure, which included the furnishings but not the Massey property, later was reduced to $12.5 million.
Ross, who unlike Trump planned to subdivide the estate, lost the deal when he was slow to close on the property. The foundation, after giving him an extension, decided this past fall to take other bids. Ross lost an estimated $1 million in escrow payments, legal and other expenses.
Foederer said that Mar-a-Lago needs little repair, and that Trump probably would begin using the mansion this winter.
Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Coca-Cola Co., has formed a joint venture with River Properties Inc. to buy and develop real estate. River Properties Inc., in turn, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cousins Properties Inc., which is also based in Atlanta.
The joint venture begins with two sites, in midtown Atlanta and in the city's northern suburbs, the companies announced recently.
The midtown site is an 11-acre parcel currently being used by the bottling company, which will lease the property from the new development partnership. The other parcel is a 40-acre site in north Fulton County.
"We wanted to get into the development business, but not in a major way at first," said Randy Donaldson, a Coca-Cola spokesman. "This is the first time we have been in a venture like this in recent memory."
A $50 million luxury condominium in Pittsburgh, touted as the most prestigious address in the nation's "most livable city," has no tenants and a muddled future nine months after completion.
"It went awry somewhere," said Thomas Eddy, an attorney representing one of two general partners in the project. "It would be a shame to waste it. We're still trying to put together something."
The principals behind Trimont, a 25-story building perched atop Mount Washington overlooking downtown Pittsburgh, have yet to resolve what to do with their edifice for the upwardly mobile.
The original minimum asking price of $300,000 for a unit has been cut to $179,000. A penthouse costs $650,000.