Bubil: A summer home for the king (LeBron)


As ESPN will not let me forget, LeBron James now plays professional basketball for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Why, I have no idea. But he does.

He left the Miami Heat after four years, four appearances in the NBA Finals and two NBA championships.

Apparently, the Ohio native wanted to go back “home” to Cleveland, because he grew up in Akron and wanted his kids to grow up in Ohio.

I know some good people from Ohio, so I am not going to say anything bad about the Buckeye State. I’ve been to Cincinnati, about 40 years ago for a baseball game, and that’s my experience with Ohio.

So LeBron, you’ve done what makes you happy. Heat fans, including me, will miss you. You looked good as a Floridian and Florida looked good on you.

I hope you find a buyer soon for your Coconut Grove mansion. At $17 million, that’s not a lot to ask for six bedrooms, eight and a half baths and 12,178 square feet with big views of Biscayne Bay in mainland Miami’s most desirable area. But just a bit of advice: It looks pretty bare in the listing photos. You might want to have your people stage a few more rooms.

Should you want a getaway house in Florida, but away from the crowds of Miami, you could do what many Miamians have done and come to the Gulf Coast.

Maybe a summer home would be nice — one that you could turn into a winter home once you retire from basketball.

We have a few homes in the Sarasota area that might suit your needs. You need a lot of space. You need privacy. You need some beach; I wouldn’t steer you to any estate that is not on a beach. You need a place where you can put a basketball court. And you need to spend at least $10 million.

We have seven currently on the market within 20 miles of downtown Sarasota, where you and your family will find plenty of Ohioans when you check out the Saturday morning farmers’ market.

We have 50 mansions of 10,000 square feet or larger (not all for sale), some upwards of 20,000 square feet. If that’s not big enough, there’s always Naples (if you would want to live there), but we are only talking about a vacation home here.

My top choice for you is “Ohana,” at 6633 Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat Key. It’s a new Guy Peterson-designed main house and renovated guest house on 2.57 beachfront acres, listed at $22 million. Replace the tennis court with a basketball court and you’ve got your version of paradise. Keep your yacht or speedboat at a nearby bayside marina and speed up to Tampa, where you can get retirement advice from ex-Yankee Derek Jeter.

I would have sent you to the super private Sanderling Club on Siesta Key, but the resort-like estate “Aquadisia” just sold for $11.85 million.

My next choice is on remote North Casey Key Road. Several elite estates are for sale. I think you would like the modernist house designed by Toshiko Mori in 2002; it’s $10 million.

Harold Bubil

Recipient of the 2015 Bob Graham Architectural Awareness Award from the American Institute of Architects/Florida-Caribbean, Harold Bubil is real estate editor of the Herald-Tribune Media Group. Born in Newport, R.I., his family moved to Sarasota in 1958. Harold graduated from Sarasota High School in 1970 and the University of Florida in 1974 with a degree in journalism. For the Herald-Tribune, he writes and edits stories about residential real estate, architecture, green building and local development history. He also is a photographer and public speaker. Contact him via email, or at (941) 361-4805.
Last modified: November 1, 2014
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published without permissions. Links are encouraged.