Singer Celine Dion Pays $12.5M for Jupiter Island, Fla., Property

Posted by — July 4, 2005

Singer Celine Dion Pays $12.5M for Jupiter Island, Fla., Property 

By Linda Rawls, The Palm Beach Post, Fla.

Canadian pop star Celine Dion has made a titanic move and paid $12.5 million for an oceanfront home on Jupiter Island, Martin County property records show.

Dion, the chart-topping singer of the movie Titanic's hit song, is in her last year of a three-year, $100 million concert engagement at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Her Jupiter Island purchase -- it was made in the name of Renlec Entertainment, Dion's Montreal-based management company -- caught many by surprise because she already owns 3 acres of waterfront land in The Bear's Club, Jack Nicklaus' gated golf community on Donald Ross Road in Jupiter. She paid $3.5 million for the property in 2003 and still owns it, Palm Beach County records show.

At the time of that purchase, she said she and her husband/manager, Rene Angelil, wanted their son to go to school in the Jupiter area.

Dion gave birth to Rene-Charles in 2001 at Palms West Hospital in Loxahatchee. Whether the world-famous Grammy winner will sell her three Bear's Club lots remains unclear. Dion's representative didn't return a phone call Wednesday, nor did a Bear's Club spokesman.

Dion's Jupiter Island house, which was built in 1963, has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. At 6,859 square feet, it's much smaller than the pop diva is accustomed to, although the property includes a 1,700-square-foot guest house built in 1985. If Dion intends to build a new home on the site, Jupiter Island laws discourage mega-mansions such as the diva's Lake Las Vegas compound in Henderson, Nev.

Before buying The Bear's Club land, Dion owned a 15,000-square-foot home in Jupiter's Admirals Cove, where neighborhood kids "trick-or-treated" at her door. At Christmas time, she invited young carolers into her home and sang songs with them, "just like she did on her TV special," said Rob Thomson of Waterfront Properties, the on-site real estate agency for Admirals Cove. She has since sold the house.

"It was a compliment to the community that she chose Admirals Cove," Thomson said Wednesday, "and residents responded by letting her live a normal life, just like anyone else. No one bothered her."

Dion's Jupiter Island neighbors in the 200 block of South Beach Road no doubt will let her live a normal life, too. Residents shun publicity, cringing each time Worth magazine named their island the "Wealthiest Town in America" and when Forbes dubbed it the nation's "Most Expensive ZIP Code."

Although the residents of this 2.7 square-mile island certainly are wealthy, they aren't international superstars. Since the 1930s, this island nine miles north of Jupiter has been home to captains of industry, high government officials and those with old family wealth. President George W. Bush's grandparents, Sen. Prescott Bush and his wife, Dorothy, were early residents. Then-President Bill Clinton hurt his knee in a fall at pro golfer Greg Norman's Jupiter Island home. And rumors persist that former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and crooner Perry Como settled elsewhere when they were denied membership in the Jupiter Island Club because of their fame.

Dion might have trouble getting into the private club, too, should she be interested in joining this arbiter of all things Jupiter Island.

"I would say she's not going to be a member of the club," said one local observer on condition of anonymity. "You have to be sponsored, and they've never been big on movie stars and such."

The sellers of Dion's Jupiter Island home are munitions heiress Barbara Olin Taylor and her husband, F. Morgan Taylor Jr.

Known as "Buzz," the 73-year-old Taylor is a former president of the U.S. Golf Association and owner of Aqua-Vac Systems Inc. in West Palm Beach.

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