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West Palm Beach Housing: A Tale Of "Two" Cities

West Palm Beach
Source: wikipedia.org
West Palm Beach

On TV today I’m telling the story of the city of West Palm Beach’s effort to save troubled borrowers.

They’ve pulled together about a million dollars from a fund that was supposed to be for affordable housing as well as some HUD money, and opened a foreclosure assistance center right downtown. In the first few weeks, counselors there have fielded literally thousands of calls from homeowners looking for help with their loans.

“We're not saying we're the champions,” claims West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel. “We're saying everybody has got to do their part here because there's too much at stake.”

Meanwhile, across town, a certain ocean-front property just sold for asking price: $81,500,000.

According to the Real Estalker (www.realestalker.com), an hysterical southern somebody who blogs about the highest of the high end, “the tremendous Thierry Despont designed digs in posh Palm that mid-priced ladees apparel titan and movie producer Sidney Kimmel ("The Kite Runner") foisted on the market in April of 2008” took less than a month to sell. Yep, 32,000 square feet or so of limestone.

I can’t say it any better than she did: “That ought to scare the livin’ daylights out of all the folks fretting and fussing about the widening gap between the merely rich and the ridiculously rich.”

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com

  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.

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