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Record-setting Tampa Bay home back on the market for $9.9 million

BELLEAIR — The most expensive home ever sold in Tampa Bay is back on the market at a discount.

Owned by Laser Spine Institute founder and chief surgeon Dr. James St. Louis, the 13,000-square-foot "French Country estate" was listed Tuesday for $9.9 million, Multiple Listing Service data shows.

Built in 2001 by MarineMax yacht baron Bill McGill, the manse boasted a rocky lagoon pool with an underground water slide, backyard koi ponds and 6 miles of wood trim. McGill sold the home to St. Louis in 2008 for $10.25 million, a record price for the four-county Tampa Bay area that has yet to be topped, according to MLS data.

Its 2-acre bluff on the Intracoastal Waterway, fenced with towering palms, sits two doors down from the former manor of that other prince of Belleair: Terry "Hulk Hogan" Bollea, who sold the Hogan Knows Best home in April for $6.2 million.

The St. Louis mansion on Willadel Drive was listed in 2010 for $14.4 million. That listing was pulled in March.

The home's new asking price sits far below Tampa Bay's two top-priced listings: disgraced gold dealer Mark Yaffe's 29,000-square-foot palace in Tampa's Avila enclave, first listed in 2008 at $25 million, and Christine Barsema's 15,000-square-foot mansion in Clearwater's Harbor Oaks, first listed in 2010. Both now show asking prices of $14.9 million.

St. Louis, 57, was a year out of personal bankruptcy when he began seeking investors in 2003 for the Tampa-based surgery center, according to Bloomberg.

By 2010, St. Louis had complemented his Belleair home with another in Aspen, Colo., for $8.3 million. But Pinellas County records show the Belleair household failed to pay more than $125,000 in taxes last year.

Listing agents with Premier Sotherby's International Realty said St. Louis offered no comment.

Though St. Louis' mansion remains Tampa Bay's priciest home sale, two mansions last year came close to stealing the record.

The 12,000-square-foot Villa Terranova, on the waterfront of Snell Isle's posh Brightwaters Boulevard, was bought by mortgage magnate and high-profile promoter Bill Edwards for $9 million.

Former NBA player Matt Geiger also sold his 28,000-square-foot palace last year for $8 million to the Dallas-based Lake Ridge Trust.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Contact Drew Harwell at (727) 893-8252 or dharwell@tampabay.com.

Record-setting Tampa Bay home back on the market for $9.9 million 10/31/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 9:20pm]

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