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Landmark St. Pete home hits market for $18 million

ST. PETERSBURG — The historic Snell-Bishop house, a St. Petersburg landmark since the 1920s and one of the city's most distinctive properties, is again on the market.

The listing price: $18 million.

The three-story, seven-bedroom, 91/2-bath single-family residence sits on more than 1.6 acres. At nearly 10,000 square feet, it has panoramic views of Tampa Bay.

It was the fifth of six houses built by legendary developer Perry Snell, who reportedly filled two railway cars with Italian marble antiquities to be used in its construction. Some of the original features remain in the house.

Wally and Louise Bishop purchased the estate in 1939. Wally Bishop, a pilot, sailor and artist, was well known for Mugs and Skeeter, his syndicated newspaper cartoon. He and Mrs. Bishop were generous community donors, especially to the Museum of Fine Arts. Wally Bishop died in 1982; Louise Bishop died in 2005.

The property went on the market shortly thereafter and sold for $5.1 million in February 2006. The owner is listed as the 375 Brightwaters Trust.

For two years, the site was the talk of the neighborhood, as painstaking renovations progressed. At the time of the purchase, the house had neither central air conditioning nor heat.

Workers replaced the seawall and installed balustrades along the waterfront. They added a heated lap pool, a gourmet kitchen and windows and doors built to withstand hurricane-force winds. They incorporated security and sound systems.

Alona Dishy, who sold the property to the current ownership, listed the house Friday.

What might a buyer look like?

"It's usually somebody who probably has a couple of properties," she said. "It could be local, but on the other hand, it could be an international buyer. You're not talking about an average market. This is an extraordinary home and property. It's not an average house or even an average high-end house. It will withstand any market anywhere in the world. If you look at it in terms of per-square-foot cost, it could not be replicated."

How does it compare against other local luxury properties?

Retired NBA player Matt Geiger listed his 28,000-square-foot house near Tarpon Springs at $19.9 million. Terry Bollea, known as professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, wanted $17 million for his 17,000-square-foot French country estate in Belleair. New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter reportedly paid $7.7 million for three lots on Tampa's Davis Islands — and that's for the property alone.

Times researcher Caryn Baird and Times staff writer Matt Waite contributed to this story.

FAST FACTS

Snell-Bishop house

>> Built: 1920s

>> Renovated: 2006-2008

>> Previous owners: 3

>> Bedrooms: 7

>> Bathrooms: 91/2

>> Square footage: 9,652

>> Listing price: $18 million

Landmark St. Pete home hits market for $18 million 11/23/09 [Last modified: Monday, November 23, 2009 11:38pm]

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