1. Business

Tampa Bay's 10 most expensive homes sold in 2012

Published Jan. 5, 2013

Deep-pocketed executives, a semiretired wrestler and professional athletes past and present plunked down millions for the Tampa Bay area's 10 most expensive homes sold in 2012.

In a year of good news for the average homeowner, with mid-level local home sales prices rising to $133,000, these mansions and manors embodied Tampa Bay's top 1 percent.

Selling for $3 million or more, these estates on Tampa's Davis Islands, the Belleair coast and other luxury locales sold for a combined $38.5 million. That's enough to buy the average local home 289 times over.

But why settle for the ordinary when you can live in a home with its own tanning salon or private gym? Or when you can buy a $3.4 million mansion, just to tear it down?

Here are the 10 priciest homes sold last year, based on property records and sales data from the My Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service.

$6.2 million

Sold April 13 to Michael Galinski

17,145 sq. ft.; 5 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 3 half bathrooms

Belleair, Willadel Drive: Topping the list is wrestler-turned-restaurateur Hulk Hogan's former mansion on the Intracoastal Waterway, famous in its own right as the backdrop for reality show Hogan Knows Best. If you think a $6.2 million price tag is stunning, consider that Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, had this manse on the market for five years, starting at $25 million. Galinski, CEO of America II Electronics, a St. Petersburg global distributor of semiconductor components, paid cash for the gated mansion, crafted after a European country manor and built on a sweeping waterfront bluff. Hogan downgraded a week later into a mansion a third the size. (More on that later.)

Amenities: Tanning salon, four-room guest house, two-room "play house," swimming pool with waterfalls, two docks

$5.2 million

Sold Oct. 22 to Richard and Anna Steeves

8,595 sq. ft.; 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms

Davis Islands, Tampa, Baltic Circle: In 2010, Joel Cantor, the developer of St. Petersburg's Signature Place condo tower, built this Key West-style mansion on a ritzy Davis Islands coastline, opening it to a fundraiser for first lady Michelle Obama and renting it to New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez and visitors to the Republican National Convention. Then, in October, he sold it to the chief executive of a medical giant based in Britain. Was Cantor already bored with its custom-made outdoor kitchen, power window treatments or Honduran-wood entry doors? No, he said. He just wanted to spend more time at his Colorado mountain hideaway.

Amenities: "Infinity-edge" pool, full office wing, entry chandelier on a $55,000 power lift

$3.8 million

Sold Sept. 28 to Michael and Lori Kosloske

9,786 sq. ft.; 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 1 half bathroom

Tampa, Villarreal De Avila: This Mediterranean-style mansion was built in 1999 on nearly 3 acres of lakefront at Avila, one of Tampa's poshest country clubs. Its ornate three-floor foyer opens into nearly 10,000 square feet of palatial living, with upstairs lofts, oversized closets and a lanai summer kitchen. The buyers are the founder and a chief officer of Health Insurance Innovations, a Tampa provider of Web-based individual health insurance plans that went public in December with plans to raise up to $86 million.

Amenities: Multitiered luxury home theater, wood-paneled library with fireplace, guest cabana

$3.5 million

Sold June 11 to Yosef Rotman

7,501 sq. ft.; 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 1 half bathroom

Belleair Bluffs, Harbor View Lane: This English country-style manse, with an eye toward the Belleair Causeway, sold for $1 million less than it was listed for in 2010. But don't doubt its extravagance. About 3,500 square feet of marble buffers the vanishing-edge pool, spa and fountains. The two-floor open living room is lined with granite and hardwood. And a gourmet kitchen boasts three pantries, a refreshment bar and a kitchen office. For those who opt for function over form, there are special filtration systems for the water and air, a lightning-protection system and a 100-kilowatt generator keeping the lights on in case the power goes out.

Amenities: Lightning-protection system, rose garden, backup generator

$3.4 million

Sold June 28 to Vincent Jackson

9,533 sq. ft.; 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms

Tampa, Exmoor Street, Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club: Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson bought this 1924 estate off the greens of the Palma Ceia golf course a few months after the 29-year-old signed a five-year, $55 million deal. With it, he got a spacious playroom with multiple closets, custom stonework and woodwork, and a four-car garage.

Amenities: Caterer's kitchen, housewide intercom system, four-car garage

$3.4 million

Sold May 10 to Hillswater Holdings LLC

Basics: 6,763 sq. ft.; 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms

Tampa, The Riviera Street, Beach Park: Named Villa Terracina after an Italian resort, this 1925 home fronts an inlet of Old Tampa Bay just south of WestShore Plaza. But it's hard to know who is enjoying its stone fountains and towered master suite: The company that bought it was incorporated by registering agents in Miami, and its only officer is a management firm in the capital of the British Virgin Islands.

Amenities: Restaurant-style kitchen, boathouse, great room with century-old ceiling beams

$3.4 million

Sold Dec. 13 to James and Teresa Gail Norman

5,676 sq. ft.; 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 1 half bathroom

Davis Islands, Tampa, Ladoga Avenue: This 1954 home sits on 27,000 square feet in Davis Islands, with a back yard, gazebo and pool on the Currituck Channel. But the couple who bought it, a Tampa General Hospital senior surgeon and his wife, plan to rip the home down and build anew. The home was last sold in 1974 to Tampa eye surgeon Dr. Raymond Agia and his wife, Susan, for only $93,500. For those keeping track at home, that's 36 times smaller than the latest sale.

Amenities: Guest house with rec room, 9- to 16-foot ceilings, half a football field of open bayfront

$3.3 million

Sold Oct. 26 to Brad and Monica Culpepper

6,109 sq. ft.; 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, 1 half bathroom

Davis Islands, Tampa, Bahama Circle: The last of three Davis Islands digs to pad out our list, this 2004 home was bought by Buccaneer-turned-personal injury attorney Brad Culpepper and his wife, Monica, who competed last year on Survivor: One World. Out front, a remote-controlled gate opens into a porte cochere and grand marble foyer. Out back, a pool deck and balconies overlook Hillsborough Bay.

Amenities: Master's retreat with waterfront balcony, private boat lift, full gym

$3.3 million

Sold April 20 to Terry and Jennifer Bollea

5,400 sq. ft.; 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 2 half bathrooms

Clearwater Beach, Eldorado Avenue: Remember the Hulk, from home No. 1? This estate just south of Clearwater Beach's millionaire enclave of Mandalay Point is where he landed. Terry Bollea and his wife, Jennifer, may have moved from the largest home on this list to the smallest, but the place is still massive. The 1,000-square-foot "master retreat" boasts a gulffront terrace, luxury bathroom and morning bar, and the home is awash in granite, marble, cherry wood and Brazilian teak. Not bad for a downsize.

Amenities: 900-bottle wine cellar, elevator, 1,500 square feet of gulffront balconies and lanai

$3 million

Sold Aug. 30 to James and Johari Rollins

6,500 sq. ft.; 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 1 half bathroom

Culbreath Isles, Tampa, Saint Croix Drive: This South Tampa mansion was bought by James "Jimmy" Rollins, shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies, which plays spring training games across the bay in Clearwater. Built in 2008, with 22-foot ceilings downstairs and 11-foot ceilings upstairs, it also features a library, a bayfront pool and, as a sales listing said, "all the over 3 million dollar bells and whistles."

Amenities: Butler's pantry with wet bar, two-floor formal living room, 22-foot ceilings

Drew Harwell can be reached at (727) 893-8252 or


  1. Bubba's 33 recently broke ground on its first restaurant in Florida, which will open in Wesley Chapel in December. Pictured, left to right: Experience Florida's Sports Coast (Tourism) Director Adam Thomas, Bubba's 33 marketing director Crista Demers-Dean, Bubba's 33 managing partner Jeff Dean, Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore and North Tampa Bay Chamber CEO Hope Allen. Andy Taylor
    News and notes on local businesses
  2. Sharon Hayes, the new chief executive officer at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, says she will draw on her roots in nursing as she engineers a turnaround for the hospital. SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    The city’s largest hospital has suffered setbacks under a corporate owner, but a new leader says it’s time for an infusion of “love and attention.”
  3. Target and some other big retailers plan to hire more seasonal workers than last year.
    Tampa Bay businesses could struggle to find enough qualified workers during the busy holiday shopping season.
  4. Rendering of proposed UPC Insurance headquarters and hotel in St. Petersburg. Alfonso Architects
    Project would include wider sidewalks, more trees and street lighting.
  5. From left, Celestar CEO Gregory Celestan, Duke Energy Florida president Catherine Stempien and Raymond James Financial chairman and CEO Paul Reilly were three of the Tampa Bay business leaders to make Florida Trend's Florida 500 this year. Handout
    ICYMI: Florida Trend magazine released its list of the state’s 500 most influential business leaders.
  6. Tech company Priatek acquired the naming rights to Pinellas County's tallest building in 2015, but its name came off the tower at 200 Central Ave., in downtown St. Petersburg more than a year ago. (Times files | 2015)
    An investor and former member of the board of directors contends in court pleadings that company president Milind Bharvirkar wasted company funds.
  7. An architect's rendering shows part of a planned research center and hospital on N McKinley Drive in Tampa for the Moffitt Cancer Center. During the 2020 legislative session in Tallahassee, the center will seek an increased share of Florida's cigarette tax to finance the McKinley Drive project and other improvements. Moffitt officials said Thursday that the increase initially would finance $205 million, to be paired with $332 million they have already allocated for the project. Moffitt Cancer Center
    Florida lawmakers are the key to unlocking the money, which would pay for more hospital beds and research space.
  8. Macy's Countryside's personal stylist Lidia Luna, of Tampa, left, helps Lisanni Reyes, of Largo, pick out an evening dress at the department store in Clearwater. The chain, founded in 1858 by Rowland Hussey Macy, is in the midst of revamping its brand and stores, including the Clearwater store, which is among 100 stores nationwide, and 10 in Florida, to be updated this year. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The new look and added services at the Clearwater Macy’s come as retailers shuttered more stores in the first six months of 2019 than in all of last year.
  9. 500 Harbour Island, on right. © C2 DESIGN GROUP INC  |  Jones Lang LaSalle
    The price is by far the most paid per unit for a Tampa Bay apartment community
  10. The Grove at Wesley Chapel Jones Lang LaSalle
    Tenants include Michael’s and T.J. Maxx