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Matt Geiger's mansion finally sells — at a deep discount

The largest mansion in Pinellas County has finally sold after nearly four years on the market.

Former NBA player Matt Geiger sold his 28,000-square-foot palace in Tarpon Springs for $8 million to out-of-state buyers on Monday. He originally listed the six-bedroom, eight-bathroom mansion for $20 million in 2007.

The mansion sits on nearly 28 acres and contains a shark tank and 330,000-gallon swimming pool with a rock-diving cliff. The estate also includes a separate 5,000-square-foot guesthouse.

Only a few homes in the Tampa Bay area are bigger.

When Geiger built his version of the Taj Mahal on Old Keystone Road in 2002, it became the largest residence in Pinellas County with yearly property taxes of $177,000. Taxes are now listed at $115,000.

The 7-foot-1 former Countryside High School star constructed the sumptuous abode after his NBA career ended with the Miami Heat, the Charlotte Hornets and the Philadelphia 76ers. At the end of 2008, Geiger owed Pinellas County $290,000 in back taxes on the house and another nearby 64-acre luxury housing venture he had hoped to develop.

Geiger could not be reached for comment.

The Clearwater office of Engel & Völkers began marketing the home last year at nearly $12 million before Geiger lowered the price to $9.95 million. The recent hosting of a large event for brokers in the home helped find a buyer, said Stephen Kepler, partner and co-owner of the Clearwater and Clearwater Beach offices of Engel & Völkers.

The buyer, who asked to remain anonymous, loved the appeal of the house, Kepler said. The sale has not yet been recorded on the property appraiser's website.

"It's a very unique home," Kepler said. "The attention to detail is exquisite."

The Times reported last month that the sales of million-dollar-plus homes and condos aren't skyrocketing in the bay area, but they are selling again — at a discount. Sales were up 22 percent in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties in mid December.

Geiger spared no expense when building the house.

He installed a putting green and stocked an artificial lake with 2,500 bass. He even had a personal herd of livestock at one time with 12 buffalo, 11 Watusi cattle, two donkeys, a miniature horse and one cow.

The home had 40 televisions, 18 of them wired with Xbox so that Geiger and his high school pals could play video games.

The home became the ultimate bachelor pad.

The sprawling estate boasts several lavish bars, a DJ station and dance floor, hot tubs, a pizza oven, a wine cellar and even a cigar room. Geiger hosted a number of parties for friends and charities. He once transformed the mansion into a supersized haunted house.

Scenes from The Punisher were filmed there in 2003. In the movie, Geiger's home became the estate of a gangster played by John Travolta.

County officials derailed Geiger's plans in October 2007 to install a landing pad for helicopters. Geiger decided to sell the grandiose bachelor pad after having a child with his girlfriend in 2007. He wanted a more child-friendly dwelling.

Mark Puente can be reached at mpuente@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8459.

Matt Geiger's mansion finally sells — at a deep discount 01/05/11 [Last modified: Thursday, January 6, 2011 7:23am]
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