“This is the most impressive home to ever hit the market in the Tampa Bay area,” said Stephen Gay, the Smith & Associates Real Estate agent who has the listing.
It’s also the most expensive and largest-scale property to ever be built on Davis Islands, a residential archipelago located directly south of downtown Tampa. Nicknamed “St. Jetersburg” by locals, the 30,875-square-foot estate was custom-built in 2012 and sits on 1.25 acres overlooking Hillsborough Bay. The seven-bedroom house has eight full bathrooms, eight half-baths, and nearly 9,000 square feet of outdoor space including a series of covered porches and balconies, two boat lifts and an 80-foot-long saltwater lap pool.
The Jeters moved to Miami in 2017 when Mr. Jeter became chief executive and a co-owner of the Marlins. The Miami Herald reported in 2017 that the Jeters had moved into a 19th-floor condo at the Grove at Grand Bay, a pair of twisting towers designed by the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood.
The Tampa house sits on three adjacent lots along Bahama Circle, according to a New York Times article published during its construction. Mr. Jeter’s corporation, Kered Connors L.L.C., bought the lots in 2005 and 2006 for $7.7 million.
Surrounding the property today is a six-foot-high wall referred to by local residents as “The Great Wall of Jeter.” Knowing that the location would draw tourists — and it has — Mr. Jeter had to go through a lengthy approvals process to make the wall two feet taller than allowed by local law. Mr. Gay now thinks of the wall as a rare luxury and considers it a selling point for an equally private buyer. An array of dense landscaping provides further seclusion.
Past the entrance gates, limestone steps covered by a Romanesque portico lead to the front door, which opens to a 24-foot-high foyer surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. A bubbling fountain, circular heated spa, the pool and 345 feet of open bay are in view beyond.
To the right of the foyer is a grand salon and a clubroom with a full-service bar, billiards table, and several TV screens. The expansive house is filled with hardwood millwork and hand-polished Venetian plaster. The house also includes a wine cellar, gym, movie theater, in-law suite, outdoor kitchen and two three-car garages.
“You would think with a house that’s this large, you’d just get lost in it,” Mr. Gay said. “But with the mixed scale of the rooms, it’s not like everything is so formal and segregated. It’s definitely not a casual house, but it’s very livable.”
Located in the largely residential Davis Islands, Mr. Jeter’s mansion has not only increased market value in the area but also started a trend, according to Robert Glaser, president and chief executive of Smith & Associates Real Estate. The neighborhood has garnered more interest from buyers looking to dismantle older, existing properties in favor of building larger homes. Just last year, Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, a co-owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, bought two adjacent properties, one a dirt lot, another a house, for a reported $16 million.
Mr. Gay described Davis Islands as a private oasis in the middle of the city. Mr. Jeter echoed the sentiment in a statement: “Davis Islands provided a quiet, safe and friendly lifestyle that we will always cherish.”
Mr. Jeter recently rented the house to his longtime friend, Tom Brady, who made his debut on Sunday as quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mr. Brady and his wife, Gisele Bündchen, rented the palatial home from the Jeters knowing that they planned to sell the property.
“Tom and Derek negotiated favorable terms in the lease agreement so the Jeters could list, market, show and sell the property for sale,” Mr. Gay said. In other words, any home tours with prospective buyers will not include a meet-and-greet with the Brady family.
As for whether it will be hard to sell the larger-than-life property — especially during a pandemic — Mr. Gay and Mr. Glaser aren’t worried. Tampa is a seller’s market right now, as many northerners are moving to Florida where housing is cheaper and residents don’t have to pay state income or estate taxes.
“Tampa isn’t an area with a large number of trophy properties,” Mr. Glaser said, but “when they do become available, there’s a lot of interest.”