Ben Mallah said he wanted to reward his wife with anniversary gift “for 15 years of putting up with me.”

He didn’t spare any expense.

The Tampa Bay-area real estate developer on Thursday completed the purchase of a Belleair Shore gulf-front mansion from former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard for $16.5 million.

It was easily the most ever paid for a residential property in the Tampa Bay area, eclipsing the $11.18 million spent on an Century Oaks estate in Clearwater two years ago.

Here’s what Mallah got for his money:

The custom kitchen area featuring stone and custom cabinets can be seen in the 39,000-square-foot home in Belleair Shore that Ben and Karla Mallah purchased from former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard for $16.5 million, the highest price for a home in the Tampa Bay/Sarasota area. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
The custom kitchen area featuring stone and custom cabinets can be seen in the 39,000-square-foot home in Belleair Shore that Ben and Karla Mallah purchased from former Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard for $16.5 million, the highest price for a home in the Tampa Bay/Sarasota area. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
A lagoon/river flows from the pool under a 39,000-square-foot home in Belleair Shore which Ben and Karla Mallah purchased for $16.5 million, the highest price for a home in the Tampa Bay/Sarasota area. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
A lagoon/river flows from the pool under a 39,000-square-foot home in Belleair Shore which Ben and Karla Mallah purchased for $16.5 million, the highest price for a home in the Tampa Bay/Sarasota area. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

The nearly 40,000-square-foot home sits on a 2 1/2-acre lot on a private beach and features a two-story paneled library, a bowling alley, large wine cellar, and trophy room. It also has a six-car garage and lazy river running across the entire property.

The private wine cellar can be seen in the 39,000-square-foot home in Belleair Shore that Ben and Karla Mallah purchased for a record $16.5 million. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
The private wine cellar can be seen in the 39,000-square-foot home in Belleair Shore that Ben and Karla Mallah purchased for a record $16.5 million. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
Part of the outdoor/indoor living area of a 39,000-square-foot home Ben and Karla Mallah purchased for a record $16.5 million. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
Part of the outdoor/indoor living area of a 39,000-square-foot home Ben and Karla Mallah purchased for a record $16.5 million. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

Howard purchased the property in 2012 for $3.5 million and began construction soon afterward. Plans at the time called for eight bedrooms and at least 10 bathrooms, two elevators, three laundry rooms, a massage room, and two kitchens.

The view of the Gulf of Mexico from the master bedroom of a 39,000-square-foot in Belleair Shore that Ben and Karla Mallah purchased for a record $16.5 million. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
The view of the Gulf of Mexico from the master bedroom of a 39,000-square-foot in Belleair Shore that Ben and Karla Mallah purchased for a record $16.5 million. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
A recreation room complete with bar can be seen in the 39,000-square-foot in Belleair Shore that Ben and Karla Mallah purchased for a record $16.5 million. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
A recreation room complete with bar can be seen in the 39,000-square-foot in Belleair Shore that Ben and Karla Mallah purchased for a record $16.5 million. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]