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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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Todd Russ May 27, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Ryan if your ever need a local realtor visit www.GulfviewLiving.com LOL!
Aaron May 27, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Welcome to the neighborhood Ryan! Big Phillies fan here. Hope to run into you somewhere when you get settled in.
Sharon Klose May 27, 2013 at 09:47 PM
I'm not a baseball watcher. I don't know who this gentleman is. The article reports he's a really nice guy. That's wonderful. His home, however , is so huge it dominates all others and makes them seem like cottages. The incongruent stature just doesn't make the look "cohesive". It looks like a Mid evil castle. No other home on Belleair Shores is close to this massive size . I wish Belleair Shore & Belleair Beach would utilize some of the upcoming tax dollars to beautify our beaches. They need fresh sand, shells to be raked, and to be maintained like other beaches around us. What has happened to the soft white sand found at Sand Key, Clearwater Beach, all the way down to Pass-a-grille? What a good way to use those tax dollars! Beautify our beaches. Not for tourism but for the residents of Belleair Shores and Belleair Beach.
Gwen Thomas May 30, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Passing by this out of place giant the other day, we couldn't help but wonder who would build such an eye sore. If you have money to burn, this is one example. The structure looks like a night mare mini golf course being built right on the beach. It even will have a 'river' around it-but where will they build the booming cannon to signal a home run? Don't mean to sound cruel, but really?
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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