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Baseball Star’s New Home Causing Waves in Belleair Shores

Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard’s giant, multi-million dollar mansion on Gulf Boulevard is attracting plenty of attention.

If you’ve ever taken a drive down Gulf Boulevard, chances are you’ve noticed the spectacular beachfront homes that line the west side of the scenic drive. 

But one home in the Belleair Shores area is drawing more attention than others, both for its prolific size and for who owns the property.

According to reports, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard is having the 34,000-square-foot mansion built at a cost of roughly $25 million. The home will reportedly include a lazy river water feature and a bowling alley, among other costly amenities.

The place has been attracting onlookers like Howard crushes fastballs, with everyone from neighbors to government officials weighing in on the project. 

A recent article published in the Belleair Bee quotes a nearby resident as saying she “doesn’t like the noise of the construction next door. Meanwhile, city officials recently agreed to grant an immediate six-month extension to the contractors should construction extend beyond the city’s two-year building code limit.

But when Patch visited the construction site last week, the construction foreman said the project shouldn’t take as long as has been reported. 

“I don’t know where these reports of two and half, three years are coming from, but it won’t take that long to complete,” said Tom Payne, Senior Superintendent for Brandon Construction of Palm Harbor.

Payne said the project has been progressing rapidly since his company began working on the site about seven months ago. 

In fact, other than the gaggle of onlookers and trespassers he’s had to shoo off the property, everything has gone smoothly. 

He also had nothing but kind words to say about Howard, whom he referred to only as the homeowner. 

“I’ve worked on a lot of jobs, for a lot of big clients, and I can honestly say he is the nicest man I’ve ever worked for,” Payne said of the 33-year-old slugger. 

“He has never asked how long will it take or when will it be done,” he added. “In fact when he left after spring training, he said, “I’ll see you in November”.”

In case you’re wondering how Howard can afford such a residence, he signed a 5-year, $125 million contract in 2012; he is scheduled to make $20 million in 2013 and $25 million in each of the next three years.

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MLT November 11, 2013 at 08:17 PM
if only a very smart agent would instruct this very good ball player what a dumb move buying a house that is more about ego and ignorance than anything else, brother buy a nice house , bank the rest. live happy
Lewis December 01, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Jealous much, people? I hope you live a long and happy life in this paradise, Ryan. You deserve it. I lived about 2 miles north of here on Gulf Blvd, on Sand Key for 7 glorious years. Will be back soon. ♥
BKL January 16, 2014 at 08:52 AM
Always respected Belleair for keeping the real Florida real. Not full of huge house after house after condo after condo blocking the Gulf. Sadly, Money talks, then destroys what people came there for in the first place.
John Lorusso February 12, 2014 at 11:39 AM
I live in a 1950's 1200sqft house less than 2 blocks away between the gulf and the bay. The real world is if you have the money to build this, BUILD IT! If I ever could, I would also and I should be able to without having angry neighbors but happy ones. What do you expect someone to build on a $2,000,000 piece of gulf front land? a 1200 sq ft house like mine?! Lets be serious. Its just not realistic. Do I like driving down the road and seeing the Gulf...ofcourse! but I don't have the money to buy the property, keep it vacant and can continue that view so Im glad to even live in a neighborhood where someone would consider building a house like this in. Be thankful for what you have instead of hateful towards those who have more. All of us talking about this are somewhat local and shouldn't be complaining. I grew in the Bronx, NY. Try living there for a week now and you would wish to be back in this area with EVERY house around you built this size.

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