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. Tampa Bay small businesses give Tampa B+ for regulatory climate


    In a recent survey about small business sentiments toward state and local government policies that affect them, Tampa Bay ranked at No. 25 out of 80 — a B+ overall.

    Tampa Bay ranked No. 25 out of 80 in a recent survey about how small business owners feel about state and local government policies that affect them. | [Times file photo]
  2. Seminole Heights restaurants face struggles amid killings, post-Irma

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The neighborhood's hip circle of popular, well-regarded restaurants is feeling the squeeze in the wake of a recent killing spree. And the timing is rough.

    Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe has been taking precautions in light of the Seminole Heights killings: keeping the lights on all night and having employees walk to their cars in groups.
  3. St. Pete-Clearwater holding food, supply drive for hurricane refugees


    CLEARWATER — St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are holding a food and supply drive for the Hispanic Outreach Center in Pinellas County. The event, which will benefit refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria, will be held Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the airport at 14700 Terminal Blvd.

    St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport and Allegiant Air are hosting a food and supplies drive Tuesday for refugees displaced by Hurricane Maria. | [Times file photo]
  4. Tallest building in Pinellas County in search of a new name

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — The name "Priatek" is gone from Pinellas County's tallest building, perhaps to be replaced by that of a much better-known company new to the Tampa Bay area.

    The Priatek name is off of downtown St. Petersburg's tallest building.
 [LARA CERRI  |   Times.  2015]
  5. Estuary wins pier design contest for the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway extension

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — And the winner is… Estuary.

    Voters overwhelmingly supported a pier design called Estuary for the $200-million extension of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa.
[Courtesy of AECOM]