Palm Beach County boasts that it’s home to twenty-five billionaires, one of the most notable being Greenwich’s Paul Tudor Jones who recently scooped up Ron Perelman’s $71 million Palm Beach estate. Tudor Jones maintains an office in Greenwich, as does another well-known hedge fund, Wexford Capital, but both have opened Palm Beach offices in the past few years.
These moves don’t surprise Greenwich’s Samer Ojjeh, who leads hedge fund initiatives for Ernst & Young and has found himself a frequent visitor to Palm Beach. “The three-trillion-dollar global hedge fund industry is constantly growing and evolving, so I think we’ll continue to see great interest by managers to consider new ideas, such as setting up shop in the area, while still keeping an eye on traditional hedge fund centers such as New York and Greenwich.”
Phillip Dodd of Phillip James Dodd Bespoke Residential Design, who has offices in Greenwich and Palm Beach, sees firsthand how young Fairfield County families are embracing the Palm Beach lifestyle. “My business is based around designing second homes on the island for families from Fairfield County. There has always been a symbiotic relationship between the two areas—but that’s no longer just in the traditional sense of the snowbirds, as more and more we see that young families are looking to have new homes designed down there.”
With trendy new green markets, gastropubs and slick city art, Palm Beach is appealing to both families and millennials. That Palm Beach is so recently attractive is not an accident, but rather a serious effort by the city. “This city is on fire, we currently have two-billion-dollars’ worth of permit activity in the pipeline,” says Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach.
One of the most exciting additions to the area is the new Brightline train. The high-speed luxe trains debuted this summer and whisk riders from Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale in just thirty minutes; service extending to Miami will begin in the fall. Brightline is the first private railroad to launch in the U.S. in over 100 years and will make it easier for those visiting and working in south Florida to navigate meetings in multiple cities. And if you’re a Disney fan, service to Orlando is planned for next year.
FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
The food scene in Palm Beach goes way beyond the standard country club fare that we got used to in the ’80s. Any town with a coffee shop named Subculture and artisan roasted coffee on nearly every corner is like honey for the hipster flies. When in town head to buzzworthy Buccan for super-inventive American cuisine. Or duck around the corner to sister restaurant, Imoto. There’s no sign for this tiny Japanese fusion eatery, just be on the lookout for celebs like Jimmy Fallon who is a big fan. Chez L’Epecier also deserves mention. Enjoy serious French-Canadian cuisine like foie gras mac and cheese and authentic poutine, no passport needed.
The Breakers will always be a Greenwich family favorite, but its new hotel-within-a-hotel, the Flagler Club, is where you’ll find the likes of Billions’ Bobby Axelrod. The club occupies two restricted floors of the hotel and offers guests an exclusive experience, including a chauffeured Tesla house car, customized bars and club-level food from breakfast through nightcaps.
AN EASIER LIFE
Transplants like Mark Pateman of Cushman & Wakefield in Palm Beach can’t get enough of this town. Originally from New York City, Mark feels comfortable in downtown Palm Beach, where there’s a “real city, a street grid, a sense of place.” And as a bonus, he says, you can be paddleboarding at 6 p.m. on any workday.