Make us your home page
Instagram

Fabled Clearwater estate sells for a record $11.18 million

CLEARWATER — Century Oaks, a landmark estate overlooking Clearwater Harbor, has sold for $11.18 million, the most ever paid for a home in the Tampa Bay area

No other residential property has been even close to that price except for a Belleair estate that sold for $10.25 million in 2008. The top price paid for any bay area home last year was $6.9 million for a condo on St. Petersburg's Beach Drive.

Century Oaks "is such a beautiful property and certainly the jewel of the west coast of Florida," Mary Ann McArthur, an agent with Coastal Properties Group/Christies International Real Estate, said Wednesday. "It was quite an honor to be involved in the sale."

She and Kerryn Ellson were listing agents on the 17,000-square-foot home whose many owners over the past century have included a doctor, a church and, most recently, champion powerboat racer Hugh Fuller.

The buyers, who had been leasing the house, "are international," McArthur said, "adding they are "not movie stars or celebrities, just a very nice family." She would not disclose any more information; property records still show Fuller as the owner.

RELATED COVERAGE: Here are Tampa Bay's 25 priciest homes of 2016

Although the luxury market is starting to slow down globally, it remains buoyant in the Tampa Bay area.

"We're seeing a number of properties in Belleair Shore and even Harbor Oaks that sold for over $5 million in the last six to 12 months," said broker Alex Jansen of Coastal Properties. "We haven't seen that in some time."

Century Oaks — so called because of its magnificent old trees — was built in 1915 by New York City developer Dean Alvord on the site of 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."

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. Fuller bought it from Mansell for $5.5 million in 1996.

The 10-bedroom estate, along with a guest house and boat house, hit the market in June 2013 for $17.5 million. When it failed to sell at that lofty price, it was put up for auction in October 2014 with a minimum starting bid of $8.5 million.

At a two-day preview, more than 1,500 visitors toured the main home, wandering through the game room with leopard-print carpeting, the garage with three-car lift, the media room with seating for 15 and a ballroom lit by three crystal chandeliers. One man recalled a previous owner handing out quarters to neighborhood kids decades earlier; other visitors wondered if the Church of Scientology, with extensive real estate holdings in Clearwater, planned to buy it.

Although three bidders submitted offers, no sale materialized then and the house, guesthouse and boat house were listed separately. On April 4, the new owners closed on the house and guest house; Fuller is keeping the 2,500-square-foot boat house.

McArthur, who been involved in previous sales of the estate, said the family will "do some redecorating and updating" but has no plans to tear down the house.

"I'm sure that will be pleasing to a lot of people," she said

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

Fabled Clearwater estate sells for a record $11.18 million 04/19/17 [Last modified: Friday, April 21, 2017 11:23am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.