TAMPA, Fla. — The house that former New York Yankee great Derek Jeter built on Davis Islands could soon have a date with the wrecking ball.
The city of Tampa confirmed a demolition application has been initiated, although not yet completed. If granted, that permit could spell the end for one of Tampa’s best-known and most expensive pieces of residential real estate.
Within hours, it had already become the talk of Davis Islands as word spread that the application had been initiated for the demolition of 58 Bahama Circle.
“Well, I think it’s just a big waste of money in the way,” neighbor Frank Ryon said. “You couldn’t convert it?”
A spokesperson for the city of Tampa said the application hasn’t been finalized, but neighbors say the family that bought the house from Derek Jeter for $22.5 million has been quietly shopping for other homes on the same block.
We tried to speak with people coming and going from the property, but no one was willing to talk about it.
“What’s going to go in its place, I think that’s what people are most curious of,” said local real estate broker Cristan Fadal, who specializes in Davis islands properties.
Derek Jeter's Davis Islands home for sale
Fadal says it’s clearly not your typical teardown. He suspects that if the house is demolished, the lot would likely accommodate more than one home, as was the case before Jeter built his house.
“It’s not common. And certainly, for this type of home, being as large as it is, and the quality of shape that it is if you look when it sold last time it was a spectacular home. It is a surprise,” Fadal said.
As for any neighbors who might hope to get their view of the bay back, whether it’s one, two, or three houses built on the property, it’s not likely to happen. Flood elevation requirements have increased even in the time since Jeter built the house a little over a decade ago.
So, whatever is here is likely to be 4-6 feet higher than what’s there now.
“It’s such a shame to have to tear down such a gorgeous, prestigious, you know, wonderful famous place,” neighbor Becky Franks said.
Franks and others say they’re already dreading the thought of years of demolition and construction on their street, having recently endured years of the same when Jeter first built the 22,000 square-foot waterfront mansion.
“They used to park in my driveway to come down to his house,” neighbor Bryan Truex said.
Truex remembers dealing with constant traffic as, first, Jeter fans would line the street hoping to catch a glimpse of the Yankee all-star. Then later, it was Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, who rented the house from Jeter when he first got to Tampa.
Even on this day, people were still stopping for peak.
“I heard the news they were gonna demolish the mansion,” said Rob Nicholson visiting from California. “I wanted one last look at it. Fan of Tom Brady and Derek Jeter, so, kind of nostalgic, I guess.”
Some neighbors think the idea is more than an investment strategy.
The same family, they say, has been snapping up commercial property along Davis Boulevard, suggesting a long-term commitment to the neighborhood.
Demolition, some suspect, could be part of a plan to build a family compound.
“It’s a beautiful house on a beautiful piece of property on Davis Islands,” Fadal said. “And so, what’s going to go in its place, I think everyone is certainly curious.”
“It will be missed,” Franks said. “It will be missed.”