ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg entrepreneur Bill Edwards, former owner of the Tampa Bay Rowdies, is shedding more of his holdings.
This week, a waterfront house that Edwards built next to his own mansion on Snell Isle hit the market for $6.2 million. It is the priciest current listing in that upscale neighborhood near downtown St. Petersburg.
"I don't use it,'' he said. "I thought it'd be a guest house but I don't have enough guests in there to make sense. I thought it was good investment and I still believe it is.''
In January, Edwards sold a unit in the 400 Beach Drive condo tower downtown for $2.375 million. And last fall, he sold the Rowdies to the Tampa Bay Rays for an undisclosed sum.
The 74-year-old Edwards continues to manage the Mahaffey Theater-Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts under a long-term contract with the city. He also owns the Sundial entertainment and shopping complex downtown.
One of Edwards now-defunct companies, Mortgage Investors Corp., remains embroiled in a lawsuit alleging it defrauded veterans and the federal government out of as much as $180 million while refinancing VA loans. In the suit, filed in federal court in Atlanta, two whistleblowers also accused Edwards of fraudulently transferring Mortgage Investors' assets to himself and his other companies to shield it from a huge potential judgment.
Dollar amounts of the transfers — which Edwards has said were normal "shareholder distributions'' — have been blacked out in most court records. However, one document mentions a total figure of "more than $270 million.''
Edwards has denied any wrongdoing as he battles the suit, which has dragged on for years with no trial date set. Asked if the recent sales of the condo and Rowdies and now the listing of the Snell Isle house were due to mounting legal bills, he said: "No."
"Listen, I financially can afford to go after whoever I need to,'' he said. "In the meantime, I'm a developer, I buy and sell real estate on a regular basis. There probably are another eight properties you don't know about.''
The house for sale is on a lot Edwards purchased for $2.9 million three years ago. Built in 2017 on Brightwaters Boulevard in the Snell Harbor area, the 5,745-square-foot home has five bedrooms, four full bathrooms and an atrium with a 22-foot-high glass ceiling. Amenities include a private guest casita, fitness center, dining room with "Ale Bar'' and a beauty salon alcove. The listing agents are Bonnie Strickland and Jim DiMartino of Douglas Elliman/Strickland Group.
In 2011, Edwards bought his own house next door for $9 million, then one of the top prices ever paid for a home in Tampa Bay. Called Villa Terranova, it has 12,412 square feet of living space and can accommodate several vessels up to 112 feet in length along 380 feet of waterfront.
Contact Susan Taylor Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate.