It is not often that a custom home builder builds an elegant, world-class, custom home and, several decades later, tears it down to the ground. For the Shapiro Pertnoy Companies, that may happen twice in the next six months.
Builders Steven Shapiro and Ronnie Pertnoy made their foray into Palm Beach County in the late 1970s, garnering a distinguished reputation building custom luxury homes in high-end golf and waterfront communities. Several hundred of these homes were in Palm Beach Polo & Country Club in Wellington and Admiral’s Cove in Jupiter. Shapiro Pertnoy is in the design process for two new custom homes planned on two lots that currently are the settings for two Shapiro Pertnoy homes built 21 and 28 years ago.
“It is quite remarkable,” Pertnoy explained, “that we will be demolishing two homes that were, in their time, the finest examples of our work. The home in Palm Beach Polo was built in 1984 and served as a very successful representation of our style, generating many custom home clients for our company at the time. The Admiral’s Cove home was custom designed and built for a wonderful client in 1991 and became our brochure centerfold. It’s something of a bittersweet affair for us knocking them down.”
Knockdowns or teardowns, as these demolished homes are known, are not so unique in South Florida. Spectacular lots are at a premium in this part of the state, causing values for the homes with better views or better-located to be priced higher. It is not unusual to find one of these great lots containing a “dated” design, or a tired, no longer state-of-the-art home. Rather than build a client’s new custom home on an inferior lot, Shapiro Pertnoy has been knocking down “perfectly livable 25-year-old homes” to make way for the more modern, more functional designs of today.
Josh Pertnoy, principal and director of residential and commercial construction for Shapiro Pertnoy, was a child when many of these teardowns were originally built. “We have torn down quite a few older homes over the last 10 years to make room for the new, usually larger and, dare I say, better-designed homes than those of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s,” he said. “It is, however, rather strange to be simultaneously planning the demolition of two homes that were built by my father and uncle back in the day.”
Shapiro Pertnoy recently completed the construction of a 30,000-square-foot home in Admiral’s Cove, which involved knocking down two neighboring homes built in the 1980s to create the single-lot setting for the largest residence in the community.
“As the South Florida real-estate market rebounds from the worst recession of our lives, we have seen a dramatic uptick in residential construction activity, marked by a prevalence of renovations,” Steven Shapiro said. “We have been quite busy in Palm Beach and Jupiter. When you have been around as long as we have, word gets out as to the quality of work that we do, yet more importantly how well-satisfied our clientele remains.”
Above: Steven Shapiro, Kevin Shapiro, Josh Pertnoy and Ronnie Pertnoy.