Former Rays owner Vince Naimoli's Avila home finally sells for $3.9M, a fraction of original asking price

The Avila estate was listed at $14M when it first went on the market in 2009.
Published June 9 2016
Updated June 10 2016

TAMPA — More than six years after it first hit the market, the Avila estate of former Tampa Bay Rays owner Vince Naimoli has finally sold — at less than a third of the original asking price.

Multiple Listing Service records show that the lakefront home closed last week for $3.9 million, a 72 percent drop from its peak price of $14 million. The deed had not been recorded as of Thursday afternoon, but one of the agents involved in the sale said the buyers already live in Avila but wanted a bigger home.

Naimoli, a founder of a Fortune 500 glass manufacturer, built the Tudor-style mansion on 10 acres on Lake Chapman in 1995. That year, he led the drive to bring the then-Devil Rays to town, running the franchise for a decade before ceding control to a new owner.

Naimoli and his wife, Lenda, first tried to sell the 15,500-square-foot house for $14 million in 2009 when housing prices were in a deep dive. They dropped the price to $11 million a year later, then took it off the market when no buyers emerged.

In June 2013, as the market began to revive, the couple listed the home for $9.995 million. When it still failed to move, they tried to sell it at a much-publicized auction in November 2014. In a news release announcing the auction, Lenda Naimoli described watching hot air balloons float over the house, which she said "has stunning morning views of the lake."

"We are ready to move forward and have purchased a smaller property in the Avila community," her husband said in the same release, referring to a 3,436-square-foot home that the couple still owns.

The auction also failed to produce any buyers, and over the next two years the price fluctuated from $5.5 million to $4.8 million to $5 million and back down to $4.8 million.

In March, the house finally went under contract.

"It was always too much," listing agent Frank Ambrosio said of the previous prices. "It was never where it should have been or it would have sold before now."

Unusually, the home was listed by agents for two different firms — Ambrosio of Berkshire Hathaway and Michelle Fitz-Randolph of Coldwell Banker. The selling agent was Dianne Martin of Century 21 Shaw Realty Group.

Martin was the listing agent in another high-profile, deeply discounted Avila transaction, the 2014 sale of former gold dealer Mark Yaffe's palatial home for $5.58 million. That was 78 percent less than its original $25 million asking price.

Tampa Bay's luxury market has picked up since then — five homes have sold for more than $5 million this year and three more are under contract. No sales topped $5 million last year.

The $3.9 million for Naimoli's estate is the most paid for any Avila home in the past six months.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.