Michael Burns of Torburn Partners Buys Palm Beach House, Relists It

1150 North Ocean Way (Google Maps, Getty)

1150 North Ocean Way (Google Maps, Getty)

The CEO of Chicago real estate firm Torburn Partners bought a Palm Beach home for $12 million, and immediately relisted it for $18.5 million.

Records show Michael Burns bought the house at 1150 North Ocean Way through a Florida LLC. The seller is Mary Elizabeth Mettler Veres, as trustee. Veres is the daughter of the home’s longtime resident, Sally Mettler, who died in September. Veres’ father, Thomas Mettler, was a real estate attorney in Palm Beach. Veres’ husband Richard Veres is president of Cleveland-based Highland Consulting Associates.

Northbrook, Ill.-based Torburn Partners is a private real estate firm that recently opened an office in Plantation. Torburn sold a Plantation office building to Midtown Capital Partners for $78 million last year.

The nearly 4,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bathroom Palm Beach house is on a beach cabana block. Records show the home was built in 1950, however there is no record of Mettler acquiring the property.

Brown Harris Stevens brokers Whitney McGurk and Liza Pulitzer represented Burns in the purchase. The team has the new listing of the property as well.

Burns went into contract on the home in April of 2021, McGurk said, but the parties agreed to hold off on closing while Sally Mettler was home on hospice care.

“We wanted basically to give her the opportunity to pass in her home,” McGurk said.

While Burns was under contract for the house, he moved onto other projects, McGurk said. With property values through the roof, he decided to relist and sell the North Ocean Way home and capture the gains, rather than redevelop the property himself.

Asking $18.5 million, the new listing describes the 0.6 acre property as a rare double lot prime for redevelopment. Buyers can split the lot, or, ‘You can build your family compound,’ the listing said.

It is the only lot of its size currently on the market in the North End of Palm Beach, McGurk said. The area is a hotbed of recent real estate activity –– thanks in part to the deeded beach cabana access included for all properties.

Burns also sold a Dolphin Road house in Palm Beach’s North End for $14.4 million in August, after buying the property for $6.8 million in 2020. McGurk represented him in that sale as well.

George Wiegers, a Denver-based private equity chief, bought a North End home for $9.4 million last month. Edward Emerson, one of Goldman Sachs’ top commodities traders, dropped $16 million on a North End spec house in August.

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