1. Real Estate

Historic Stovall-Lee House sells for $9.5 million, biggest-ever Hillsborough residential deal

TAMPA — In a record deal, an historic home on Tampa's Bayshore Boulevard has sold for $9.5 million.

Blake Casper, CEO of a company that owns dozens of Tampa Bay McDonald's restaurants, and his wife, Tate, closed today on the acquisition of the Stovall-Lee House. They plan to turn it into a private club with a bed-and-breakfast for the exclusive use of members.

The price is the most ever paid for a residential property in Hillsborough County and the third highest in the four-county Tampa Bay area. Last April, the Century Oaks estate in Pinellas County sold for $11.18 million.

"I have been truly honored to represent the sale of this magnificent estate," Jennifer Zales, the agent who brokered the sale, said in a statement. "We are thrilled that the Casper family will take over the role of owner/steward of this historic property, and build upon the vision of Harry Teasley who purchased the estate in 1991, and completed a total restoration and expansion over the decades since."

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On 2.6 acres overlooking Hillsborough Bay, the Stovall-Lee house was built in 1909 by the general manage of Florida Brewing Co. in Ybor City. It was named after the founding publisher of the Tampa Tribune, Wallace Stovall, and later owners, the Lee family, that had it listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Retired Coca-Cola executive Harry Teasley Jr., bought the property in 1991 for $2.4 million, made substantial upgrades and additions, and put it on the market three years ago for just under $14 million.

Casper plans to transform the property into a private club known as Stovall House. Inspired by prestigious social clubs in London, it would include the 5,000-square-foot main house, a new five-bedroom bed-and-breakfast and 80 parking spaces. The existing two-story guest house would be demolished along with the pool pavilion, spa, wine cellar and garage.

The club would serve beer, wine and liquor inside the buildings as well as on the front lawn.

In December, Casper asked the city council to approve two variances from the city code: To reduce the number of required loading berths from two to zero, and to reduce from 1,000 feet to 50 feet the required distance separating alcohol sales from residential uses.

No date has been set for a hearing. Bob McDonaugh, Tampa's administrator for economic opportunity, said Friday that it appears city staffers had sent the requests back to Casper for changes or further information.

The plans "have not been resubmitted so I'm assuming there were comments," he said.

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Residents of the South Tampa area, known as Bayshore Beautiful, have had mixed reactions to the idea of a private club in their midst. Since floating the idea in October, Casper has met with residents to hear their concerns, which generally have concerned traffic, parking and noise.

Teasley, the seller, created a stir himself several years ago when he rebuffed the city's plans to put a sidewalk in front of his mansion, which he had lavishly landscaped with view-blocking shrubs and palms.

In 2012, he relented — somewhat — when he agreed to trim back the bushes so it would be easier for pedestrians to get by.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate. Contact Richard Danielson at or (813) 226-3403. Folow @Danielson-Times.