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Historic Tampa Home With Koi Ponds Lists For $13.9 Million

by: Erin Carlyle- FORBES

An historic home on Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard is listing for $13.9 million. The 8,900-square-foot mansion, once owned by the publisher of the Tampa Tribune, has been meticulously restored and is surrounded by lush, private gardens.

The six-bedroom, 9.5-bath Stovall House at 4621 Bayshore Boulevard lies on 2.6 acres overlooking Hillsborough Bay. It is the largest property on Bayshore Boulevard. It has a separate guest house, conservatory, and a fitness and staff building. Jennifer Zales of Coldwell Banker has the listing.

Owner Harry E. Teasley is selling because at 78, he no longer entertains in the home as frequently as he and his wife once did. “We’re looking at simplifying and downsizing how we live the rest of our life together,” Teasley said.

Stovall House was built around 1908 and in the mid-1910’s purchased by Wallace Stovall, the publisher of the Tampa Tribune. In 1974 the mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The home traded hands a couple more times until Teasley purchased it in 1991.

Teasley spent a full year renovating the home, removing a concrete drive and replacing it with brick pavers that look like cobblestones. He hired a craftsman to remove layers of paint from the mahogany moulding with an X-acto knife, scraper, and folded piece of sandpaper, a task that took five months. Teasley hired workers to repair cracked plaster, restore 25 sets of double hung windows, and upgrade the security and audio-visual systems.

But the biggest project has been the garden. Teasley and his late wife introduced a formal koi pond and an orchid house, added a pavilion at the end of the pool and built a guest house. “Any place you stand in the garden, you can turn 360 degrees and you will have a beautiful vista anyplace,” Teasley said. “I tried to create that in the garden.”

When asked about his favorite room in the house, Teasley explained the process he takes when looking at a home: he sits down in each room, imagines drinking a cup of coffee or glass of wine, and waits until he gets a feeling. “I have to get a good feeling everywhere,” he said. “One of the things that I saw early on about this property is that it had the possibility of every room being good for my soul.”

Teasley had a long career with Coca-Cola KO -1.02%, including serving as the CEO of Coca-Cola Foods in Houston, the company’s fruit juice division (which oversaw brands like Minute Maid and Hi-C) from 1987 to 1991. He subsequently launched the Coca-Cola Nestle Refreshments headquarters in Tampa. He was also chairman of the Reason Foundation.