Longboat Key home sale biggest in recent memory

LONGBOAT KEY -- A palatial home on the beach has sold to a Massachusetts couple in the biggest single family home sale in Manatee County in several years.

The 6,000-square-foot, three-story mansion dubbed "The Pearl" sold May 4 for $5.625 million, according the county property records. John and Kathleen Gormally of Wilbraham, Mass., purchased the home at 5871 Gulf of Mexico Drive from the estate of the late Basil Zirinis, a former Exxon executive. Zirinis purchased the home in 2009 for $7.125 million.

John Gormally is the president of a Boston area media company.

For their money, the Gormallys get a property that comes with more than 14,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor living space. That includes a guest house, a pool, and two stories of decks overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The home is gated, has four bedrooms and includes five garage bays.

The main house on the property was built in 2008, according to records.

The Gormallys will soon have even more room to roam. In early April, they purchased the lot and home next door for $2.5 million. A notice of commencement on file with Manatee County shows the couple plans to demolish the circa-1950 home on 1-acre lot.

Christina Landry, a real estate agent with the St. Armands Circle office of Michael Saunders & Co., said the "The Pearl" sold after less than a year on the market. She said the size of the home and the 1.2 acres under it made it a desirable property.

"That house on the beach for that size of property is very unusual," she said.

Reid Murphy of Developers Realty represented the buyer in the transaction

The most expensive home to previously sell in Manatee County since late 2013 was a 10,000-square-foot beachfront home at 5965 Gulf of Mexico Drive that went for $5.3 million in January.

Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.