1. Real Estate

This $4.25 million bank-owned estate is the biggest waterfront property for sale in Tampa Bay

ST, PETERSBURG — For years it was Tampa Bay's classiest party house, a spectacular waterfront estate that hosted many an event for charity.

Now, it is the bay area's priciest foreclosure for sale.

U.S. Bank recently took back the mansion in St. Petersburg's Jungle Shores area after obtaining a final judgment of $4.01 million. The bank is asking $4.25 million, four times more than any other foreclosure currently on the market.

"I tried to sell it but there were no meaningful offers,'' said Fazal Fazlin, the Pakistani-American entrepreneur who had owned the house for almost 20 years.

Fazlin said he isn't sorry to be free of the 10,400-square-foot home because the company he serves as CEO, Largo-based Kaligia Biosciences, is in clinical trials on a non-invasive test for glucose levels in diabetics.

"I really wanted to focus on work and not focus on the house,'' Fazlin said. "My wife thought it was way too big for us.''

Under an agreement with the lender, Fazlin said, he won't be responsible for the balance if the home sells for less than he owes.

On 5 acres overlooking Boca Ciega Bay, the home is the largest coastal waterfront property by acreage available in the Tampa Bay area. The front entrance, approached by walkways the length of football fields, opens onto a massive great room with 23-foot ceilings and views of the bay and a 16,000-square-foot deck with an infinity pool.

Fazlin sold his Advance Plasma Systems company in 1999 and with his then-wife bought the estate, once owned by former St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) editor Nelson Poynter. He added a two-story wing to the already spacious house, transforming it from a private residence into a part-time event venue with a formal dining room big enough to seat 500.

Fazlin, then a trustee for Eckerd College, started hosting fundraisers for the college. He soon opened the home to many organizations including public television station WEDU, Abilities Inc. and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"When I was young and did all of those things, I was able to help raise money and that was a good thing,'' said Fazlin, now 68. "Then it got to the point with me working and the person who used to maintain the house wasn't able to maintain it anymore and I had difficulty finding people.''

Fazlin had been trying to sell the house off and on since 2011, at an initial asking price of $9.9 million. It was most recently reduced in June from just under $5 million to the current $4.25 million.

Listing agent Dania Perry "has had excellent interest in the home with buyers recognizing its unique 'Hamptons' style estate potential,'' her husband and fellow agent, Rick Perry, said in an email Friday.

Depending on the sale price, the home at 900 Park Street N could be the second most expensive foreclosure ever in the bay area. The Tampa estate of former corporate raider Paul Bilzerian sold in 2014 for $5.58 million. Next highest was a Tierra Verde mansion that went for $3.475 million in 2011.

With the foreclosure behind him, the recently remarried Fazlin has moved to a condo on St. Petersburg's Beach Drive.

"I've always wanted to live downtown,'' he said, "and I love it.''

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at or (727) 893-8642. Follow @susanskate