A Decorated Broker Offers Insight on a Hidden Gem on Florida's Treasured Coast
Dermot O’Brien originally hails from Dublin, Ireland, and crossed the pond in 1991 to attend Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management after winning a lottery that granted him a visa and green card. Combining an MBA with natural entrepreneurial spirit and the Ritz-Carlton Residences Power Broker and International Properties Best Real Estate Agent awards, O’Brien has hit something of another jackpot in the luxury real estate market on the Treasure Coast. Haven spoke with him about his practice, Singer Island, and what’s next for them both.
Describe what’s happening on Singer Island and what has attracted you and your high-end clientele to this locale.
Dermot O'Brien: Everyone knows about Palm Beach and Jupiter, but Singer Island is kind of tucked away – 15 minutes to the airport, 5 or 10 minutes from Palm Beach Gardens. You’ve got all the amenities, restaurants, and shops, but at the same time there’s a very low-key, laidback atmosphere about it.
Would you almost say it’s a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Palm Beach area? Is it poised for growth, or on the cusp of being discovered?
Dermot O'Brien: It is kind of a getaway, but it’s really in the middle of it all at the same time. There’s a lot of development in nearby Riviera Beach, but the thing about Singer Island is that major development is not planned, and that’s part of its charm. There are almost 40 condominium buildings there with just four new buildings (Ocean 18, Vista Blue, 5000 North Ocean, and Wellness Resort & Spa) in the works, as well as four distinct single-family home neighborhoods [see map]. The people who buy the properties are usually executive level, approaching or at retirement, or moving down from the Northeast.
Do you foresee any challenges, or is there any risk of this dusky jewel becoming too uncovered?
Dermot O'Brien: It’s almost like you don’t want it to be discovered because that’s part of the beauty. People like it here because it’s not quite as ritzy or flashy as surrounding areas. It’s discrete – low-key luxury.
What’s next for you, your firm, and this part of Florida?
Dermot O'Brien: One or two of those buildings are already for sale, and the rest are under construction or are going to be soon. The buildings are very boutique, and the residences and floor plans vary significantly. Some offer spa and wellness facilities, and one is an inlet community. There’s something for everyone. I’ve been doing this for 12 years and have over $225 million in sales, and this is a very exciting time.
Interview by Chris Curtland