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Fabled Clearwater estate back on the market — for nearly $14 million

The main house and guest house have a total of 16 bedrooms and 20 bathrooms.
The Century Oaks estate in Clearwater [Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate]
The Century Oaks estate in Clearwater [Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate]
Published Dec. 4, 2019
Updated Dec. 4, 2019

CLEARWATER — Built on a bluff overlooking Clearwater Harbor, Century Oaks can stake a claim as one of Tampa Bay’s most imposing estates.

It also comes with an imposing price tag — $13.9 million.

The 3.5 acre property — consisting of a main house and guest house totaling nearly 28,000 square feet — recently emerged from foreclosure and went on the market this week for the second time in six years. With two pools, two lighted tennis courts and a 60-foot covered dock, the lavishly landscaped spread is almost a self-contained resort.

The Century Oaks estate in Clearwater [Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate]

"This estate would appeal to a buyer who desires privacy and exclusivity,'' listing agents Jennifer Zales and Martha Thorn said in a statement. "This could be an executive, celebrity, athlete or international buyer who spends time here locally or a developer who wishes to further develop the parcel.''

Century Oaks, named for its magnificent trees, was built in 1915 by New York City developer Dean Alvord on the site of the old Fort Harrison, a military post for settlers during the Second Seminole War. The area became known as Harbor Oaks, Clearwater’s first planned residential subdivision, and was advertised to wealthy Northerners as "The Riviera of the Sunny South.''

The ballroom of the main Century Oaks house. [CARY JOHN PHOTOGRAPHY INC | Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate]

Since Alvord’s day, the estate has been owned by Robert Brown, inventor of the black paint used on Model T Fords, and British Formula 1 driver Nigel Mansell. In 1996, he sold it to powerboat racing champion Hugh Fuller for $5.5 million.

Fuller put the estate on the market in 2013 but it failed to sell until two years ago when a couple from Dubai bought it for $11.18 million, then a record price for a Tampa Bay home. They defaulted on the mortgage, however, and the property went into foreclosure until the lender took it back in a settlement this year.

Thorn and Zales, Coldwell Banker agents who are among Tampa Bay’s top-selling Realtors, teamed up to get the listing for what is one of the bay area’s trophy properties. Only three other estates — two in Hillsborough and one in Tarpon Springs — are priced higher. The most ever paid for an area home was $16.5 million in February for a gulf-front mansion in Belleair Shore. previously owned by former Major League Baseball star Ryan Howard.

RELATED: Developer Ben Mallah buys former Phillies slugger Ryan Howard’s Pinellas home for $16.5

One of 16 bedrooms in the Century Oaks estate [Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate]

Encompassing more than 16,000 square feet, Century Oaks’ main house has 10 bedrooms, eight full bathrooms and five half baths, plus a grand ballroom, movie theater, wine cellar, fitness center, office and library. The guesthouse has six bedrooms, five full bathrooms , a game room and a sitting room. Appointments include the original marble and hardwood flooring, French doors and Swarovski crystal chandeliers.

Marketing for the estate will include inserts in the Wall Street Journal and direct mail campaigns directed at wealthy clients throughout the country.

An aerial view of the grounds of Century Oaks in Clearwater. [Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate]

The property, with bell tower and waterfront walkway, sits on a ridge with 304 feet of seawall. One modest cost savings for the new owner — flood insurance is not required.

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