CLEARWATER — A three-story, 19,000-square-foot mansion in Belleair Shores has sold for a record-breaking $16.5 million, making it the highest-priced residential sale in the Tampa Bay area, according to real estate agents.
Located at 1700 Gulf Blvd. and boasting more than 200 feet of Gulf frontage, the property belonged to former Philadelphia Phillies All-Star first baseman Ryan Howard, who was Major League Baseball’s Rookie of the Year in 2005 and the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 2006. He also led the Phillies to a World Series title in 2008, when they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays.
The buyer, according to a statement from Premier Sotheby’s International Realty, the agency that listed the property, is Ben Mallah, principal of Equity Management Partners. Mallah is also the former owner of the Best Western Bay Harbor Hotel in Rocky Point, which he sold for $34.5 million in 2015 and is now known as the Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa.
According to a press release, Jackie Diaz and Karen Hegemeier of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty’s Clearwater office represented Howard. Rafal Wazio of Coldwell Banker represented Mallah.
The property, the release states, brims with boutique, high-end features, including a lazy river, bowling alley, secure art room, Napa-inspired wine room, custom home theater, eight-car garage, fitness center, panic room and chef’s kitchen. The residence has eight bedrooms, seven bathrooms and four powder rooms.
“Boasting the utmost in style and comfort, and a luxury lifestyle, this estate represents the epitome of luxury living in Tampa Bay,” Diaz states in the release. “Selling a private listing is the most challenging feat any luxury agent could face, especially when that listing is the most expensive in Tampa Bay. Knowing that I had the full support of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty and the company’s international reach, we were confident we could find the right buyer.”