Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Derek Jeter's new Davis Islands home may be game changer

TAMPA — On Davis Islands, a residential enclave in the shadow of downtown Tampa, a street called Bahama Circle has two faces. You could literally draw a line down the middle of the narrow bend to create a border between the different worlds.

On the inland side, there's the Davis Islands of one-story homes built in the 1940s and '50s — of hopscotch games chalked on sidewalks, American flags hanging on doorsteps and rope swings tied from trees.

Across the street, there's the millionaire's row of new mansions guarded by gates and intercoms, on a glistening waterfront shared by a hockey star and now one of the most famous names in baseball, Derek Jeter, 34.

His company, Kered Connors LLC, is building a mammoth 30,875-square-foot house across three lots at 58 Bahama Circle, a two-story mansion that will include seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, two three-car garages, a grand entertainment room, a billiards room and a memorabilia room.

All surrounded by a 6-foot wall and 4-foot fence.

Neighbors in the comparably quaint inland homes peer through their windows at the churning cement trucks lining the street. They catch the occasional glimpse of Jeter's baby blue Ferrari and wonder what their new neighbor will bring to the block.

Will the two sides coexist?

Or will they collide?

Cars pass slowly by the Jeter construction site, now just the skeleton of what will be the largest house in Tampa — twice as big as the Palma Ceia home of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

Jeter's company paid $7.7 million for the waterfront land, and designers value their work on the actual home at $1.75 million. All this in a neighborhood where the median home sold at $615,000 within the past year, according to Davis Islands Realtor Jeanne Wolfe. The lowest sold at $228,000.

Ken Elmore stands across the street and snaps a photograph to post on his neighborhood Web site,

"Man, that's going to be a big house," he says.

Neighbors aren't sure yet whether Jeter will live in it or whether it'll be an investment property. As Elmore puts it, "He certainly has room to live here."

From her one-story home across Bahama, Alex Stockton feels cramped. She's tired of construction dust — the project broke ground in August — and thinks the house is too big for the neighborhood.

But her kids are excited. Her 4-year-old son Cody plans to ask for an autograph.

"Hopefully, he'll be good with the kids," Stockton says. "He could give back a little bit that way."

Everyone wonders what Jeter will be like if he moves in.

Will they see him hanging out at neighborhood restaurants Estella's or Yeoman's? Will the guy who has been romantically linked to Mariah Carey, Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel bring any starlets home?

"He's a single man as far as I know, and he's going to have a good time out there," says 81-year-old Norma Lurie, whose 2,300-square-foot brick home is a 13th the size of Jeter's.

The Luries bought it in 1972 for $42,000. The Hillsborough County property appraiser values the four-bedroom, two-bathroom house at just over $68,000, but the land at about half a million.

Older, modest homes like these make the neighborhood feel accessible, like an island suburb of houses big and small — not some exclusive gated community. Yet, houses like hers may become an endangered species, especially on Bahama Circle.

"They're all going to go the way of the bulldozer," says Davis Islands Realtor Scott Wolfe. If someone's willing to pay the value of the land, they'll want a house to match.

"Tampa's trying to be a big city," Wolfe said.

So big houses and big stars are key.

Besides Jeter, Davis Islands is home to former Tampa Bay Devil Ray Tino Martinez (who was also Jeter's teammate on the Yankees), the Tampa Bay Lightning's Vinny LeCavalier and former Lightning player Brad Richards.

Lurie stands at the doorstep of the home she bought nearly four decades ago, when Tampa was just a sleepy Southern city. She once had a wide view of the sunset over the water from here. Now, she sees the construction site.

"I'm not going to let that intimidate me," she says. "I'm content."

And she adds, "It's going to be magnificent."

Times staff writer Robbyn Mitchell contributed to this report. Alexandra Zayas can be reached at or (813) 226-3354.

Derek Jeter's new Davis Islands home may be game changer 03/26/09 [Last modified: Friday, March 27, 2009 6:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.