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Phillies' Ryan Howard plans $5.8 million estate on Belleair Shore

BELLEAIR SHORE — Small details can illustrate something big. Take, for instance, the budget for doorknobs and such at the mansion that Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard plans to build.

That would be $80,000.

Plans for the home include some other small, relatively speaking, numbers.

Bowling alley: $175,000.

Audio/video: $100,000.

Granite: $80,000.

Laundry cabinets: $15,000.

Guest kitchen cabinets: $25,000.

Cost to build the Gulf Boulevard home: $5.8 million.

The 17,602-square-foot estate will be the biggest in Belleair Shore and one of the biggest in Tampa Bay. Construction is expected to start soon. The property is about 10 miles from the Phillies training complex in Clearwater.

Blueprints submitted to Pinellas County show that Howard has named some of the rooms. He can view sunsets from the balcony off the master suite. The name: Romance.

Howard, 32, paid $3.5 million for the waterfront property.

The estate will have eight bedrooms and at least 10 bathrooms. Books will be stored in a two-story library. Mementos will be displayed in a 31-foot-by-23-foot trophy room. Other amenities will include two elevators, three laundry rooms, a massage room, a wine room and two kitchens.

After crushing baseballs at practice, Howard will be able to plunge into the swimming pool and float along the lazy river under the home. Five bridges will cross the water. Howard could also work out on the underwater treadmill.

The house will use so much electricity, according to a construction document, that "it is likely that Progress Energy will set a new transformer for this property.''

Howard, one of the top hitters in baseball, is a three-time All-Star first baseman and former National League MVP. He has helped lead the Phillies to five consecutive National League East titles, as well as the 2008 World Series over the Rays.

Howard, who signed a five-year, $125 million extension in 2010, has yet to play this season as he rehabs a surgically repaired left Achilles tendon. He declined to comment for this story.

Construction is expected to take three years and will keep dozens of subcontractors busy. Brandon Construction of Palm Harbor is building the estate.

Belleair Shore residents are excited about Howard's arrival.

Mayor John Robertson said Howard first approached the city last May about the project.

"We look forward to working with them and having them as neighbors," Robertson said. "He's a very, very nice guy."

The city assured Howard that as long as work continues, the city will work to grant him six-month extensions past the usual two-year deadline, Robertson said.

Robertson said it's his understanding that Howard's parents will live in the house most of the year and that Howard will spend spring training there and some part of the offseason.

"He wanted to be on the water and wanted to be near Clearwater. This fell right into his lap," Robertson said. "He said it's the perfect fit."

Howard's parents, Cheryl and Ron, are also listed as owners of the property. Ryan Howard told reporters in 2006 and 2007 that his mother, an accountant, manages his money. The Ryan Howard Family Foundation also donated $1.25 million in December to the Philadelphia school system.

Robertson said several other homes in Belleair Shore are bigger than 10,000 square feet, but Howard's will be the biggest.

"It's going to be a lovely home," Robertson said. "It's a nice use of that property and, of course, adds nicely to our tax rolls.

Mark Puente can be reached at or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter at