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Rays' first owner Vince Naimoli selling Tampa mansion for $9.9 million

TAMPA — Vince Naimoli, the once-embattled first owner of the Tampa Bay Rays, wants to sell his opulent brick mansion for $9.9 million.

Naimoli, 75, listed the 15,000-square-foot estate he owns with his wife, Lenda, in Tampa's elite Avila enclave last week, a listing shows.

In 1995, Naimoli, a former founder of a Fortune 500 glass manufacturer, built the three-story mansion on 10 acres on the Lake Chapman waterfront.

That year, he led the drive to bring the then-Devil Rays to town, running the franchise for a decade before ceding control to principal owner Stuart Sternberg.

Naimoli's 8-bedroom, 7-bathroom mansion is adorned with coffered cathedral ceilings and marble and hardwood floors, sales listings show.

A Tudor-style manor, it boasts six fireplaces, a wood-paneled library, a lakefront pool and spa, a guest wing with a separate "CEO boardroom," staff quarters for a maid and groundskeeper, an exercise loft, a sauna, a private tennis court, a "striking" foyer with a grand staircase and chandelier, and garages for six cars and a golf cart.

Naimoli tried to sell the mansion for two years, first for $14 million then $11 million, before pulling the listing in 2011.

Last week, Naimoli listed the home with a new Realtor, Coldwell Banker agent Michelle Fitz-Randolph, who also represents disgraced gold dealer Mark Yaffe's Avila megamansion, on sale for $12.9 million.

Naimoli's home is now the third most expensive listed in Tampa Bay, behind Yaffe and Christine Barsema's $12.9 million Clearwater mansion, My Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service data show.

Naimoli's listing price is only $5,000 higher than the next priciest, Laser Spine Institute founder Dr. James St. Louis' $9.9 million French Country estate in Belleair.

During Naimoli's reign over the Rays, the man who had made his name in business as a corporate turnaround specialist known for cost-cutting was routinely slammed as a penny pincher. The team spent three seasons with the lowest payroll in Major League Baseball.

Naimoli is one of a handful of wealthy sports figures to have lived in Avila, including New York Yankees Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy and star lineman Warren Sapp. Former Rays manager Lou Piniella's family also owns a home in Avila, a few mansions away from Naimoli.

Naimoli said Monday he did not want to comment on why he planned to move or where. "I'll move when it's sold," he said.

Contact Drew Harwell at (727) 893-8252 or dharwell@tampabay.com.

Rays' first owner Vince Naimoli selling Tampa mansion for $9.9 million 06/10/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 9:54pm]
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