BELLAIR SHORE, Fla. (FOX 13) - FOX 13 News was granted an exclusive tour Monday of one of the priciest mansions in the Tampa Bay area: The former home of Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, in Belleair Shore.
Real estate investor Benjamin Mallah paid $16.5 million for the palatial estate.
“What drew me to this house was definitely not the price, but it was a unique house. I like things that are unique,” he said.
Howard built the opulent beachfront home four years ago. It was a tightly-guarded construction site as the building went up, but now that it's changed ownership, the home's new resident is ready to show the world what all the fuss was about.
“I’ve never been to Trump’s, but this house I think is in that category,” Mallah said.
The Mallah-mansion nears 40,000 square feet. Inside you'll find all the luxuries a king might need, like a theater room, a wine cellar, a two-story library, and a bowling alley.
There's also a master bedroom bigger than most houses.
Outside, a lazy river winds under the three-story home, through a covered outdoor area, connecting to a resort-style pool that overlooks the white-sand beach and the Gulf of Mexico
Everywhere you look, no detail is overlooked. However, realtor Rafal Wazio said the house is not as overwhelming as it seems.
“You can walk it in less than seven minutes and still make it feel like home it’s an interesting home,” said realtor Rafal Wazio.
Mallah bought the home for his wife as a gift for their anniversary.
“A couple weeks ago we celebrated our 15th anniversary so once I divided it, about a million bucks a year with a 10-percent gratuity, came out to the price of the house,” he joked.