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Marked down to $17.5M, Mark Yaffe's Tampa mansion still for sale

Originally on the market for $25 million, the asking price for this 29,000-square-foot home has been slashed to $17.5 million.

Dorian Aerial & Architectural Photographics Inc.

Originally on the market for $25 million, the asking price for this 29,000-square-foot home has been slashed to $17.5 million.

A Tampa palace can still be yours if you have $17.5 million tucked under the mattress.

That's a bargain.

Gold dealer Mark Yaffe originally listed the 29,000-square-foot estate for $25 million in 2008. The nearly 6-acre Avila spread, modeled after a 17th century British royal palace, has 10 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.

The mansion is being heavily marketed worldwide to high-end buyers, said Bob Glaser, head of Smith & Associates, a seller of luxury homes. It draws the most clicks from around the globe on a website featuring mansions, he said.

He believes a sale will come — someday.

"That's the biggest and most attractive house out there," Glaser said. "That house is a little more out in the stratosphere."

Completed in 2004, Yaffe's ornate Jacobean-style manor home took about seven years to build. The estate has another 15,500 square feet of open and covered terraces.

Homes priced between $3 million and $5 million sell the quickest in Tampa Bay's luxury market. Yaffe's house had a lot of showings in the past, but those have slowed, Glaser said.

Yaffe agreed to sell the home as part of a bankruptcy agreement from late 2009, after falling behind on $36 million in debt. At the time, he headed National Gold Exchange, one of the world's largest precious coin wholesalers.

He filed bankruptcy in July 2009. The case is still active.

There might be hope for Yaffe. Opulent homes and condos are selling again at a discount in the bay area.

In January, former NBA player Matt Geiger sold his 28,000-square-foot spread in Tarpon Springs for $8 million. He originally listed the six-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion for $20 million in 2007. Glaser said that buyer also viewed Yaffe's house, but the mansion didn't fit his needs.

News researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this story. Mark Puente can be reached at mpuente@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8459. Follow him at Twitter at twitter.com/markapuente.

Marked down to $17.5M, Mark Yaffe's Tampa mansion still for sale 03/14/11 [Last modified: Monday, March 14, 2011 8:02pm]
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