Make us your home page

Tampa Bay's priciest estate hits the market for $17.5 million

CLEARWATER — Century Oaks, the opulent 14-bedroom estate that birthed one of Clearwater's wealthiest neighborhoods, is up for sale at $17.5 million, making it the priciest home on the market in Tampa Bay.

The 30,000-square-foot estate was listed for sale Friday by businessman and world-champion powerboat racer Hugh Fuller, who bought it for $5.5 million in 1996 from British Formula 1 driver Nigel Mansell.

The gated compound, at 802 Druid Road, boasts two pools, tennis and basketball courts, boat docks and an air-conditioned five-car garage with a hydraulic car lift, a listing said.

Cascading gardens, fountains, a bell tower and live oaks up to 500 years old dot the estate's 3 acres of waterfront bluff.

The main house, a traditional Mediterranean-style white stucco mansion with a green-tile roof and red-brick driveway, holds 10 bedrooms, 15 full and nine half bathrooms, two guest wings and staff quarters.

Swaddled in Brazilian cherry wood and marble, specialty rooms include a library, a theater room, a music studio and a lofty ballroom with three crystal chandeliers.

The North House, the estate's guest quarters, features four bedrooms, a suite of offices, a full gym, and music, sun and billiard rooms.

Property taxes this year cost $150,000.

The estate was built in 1915 by Dean Alvord, a New York developer who built on the site of Fort Harrison, a military post for settlers during the Second Seminole War. The exclusive, deed-restricted enclave was called Harbor Oaks.

Clearwater's first planned residential subdivision, it was built with then-innovative amenities such as paved streets and underground utilities to attract moneyed Northern industrialists and professionals looking to winter in the Florida sun. Lots sold for $1,750.

Alvord's estate, the first built in the subdivision that newspaper ads called "The Riviera of the Sunny South," was then sold to Robert Brown, the Detroit inventor of the special black paint used on Ford Model T automobiles.

The estate, listed by Smith & Associates agent Sophia Vasilaros, is nearly $5 million pricier than the next most expensive homes on the market, one in Harbor Oaks and the other in Tampa's Avila enclave.

Fuller is looking to sell the estate because he plans to spend more time at his other properties, Vasilaros said,

"It is unimaginable tranquility," Vasilaros said. "It's absolutely breathtaking."

Tampa Bay's priciest estate hits the market for $17.5 million 06/18/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 10:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street


    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24


    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights


    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.


    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]