A former Major League pitcher who built what is reputed to be the first-ever million-dollar home in Lakewood Ranch has sold the trendsetting property for $1.8 million.
Wilson Alvarez, 45, who played for the Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago White Sox and several other professional teams, is one of a number of professional athletes who have built grand homes in the East Manatee planned community. But his home, a 10,144-square-foot estate situated on more than an acre of land at 6927 Westchester Circle, was likely the first in the community to come with a purchase price of $1 million-plus when it was built between 1999 and 2001.
The sale, the home's first on the resale market since being commissioned by Alvarez, was completed on June 11, according to Manatee County property records. Listing agent was Tina Ciaccio of ReMax Fine Properties.
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The first Lakewood Ranch homes went up for sale in 1995 in the Summerfield Community. The first luxury neighborhoods were established a few years later.
These days, homes selling in the seven-digit range in Lakewood Ranch are commonplace. The company that built Alvarez's former home, an Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise headed by Derek Nelson, builds about 10 such homes there every year.
But when Alvarez's home went up, it was unique.
"I remember it was a big deal for us, and it was a big deal for the Ranch at the time," Nelson said.
It's still a big deal. Although the home has not been remodeled since it was built, its selling price was the
highest in Lakewood Ranch so far this year. Ciaccio said she was also the listing agent for the most expensive home to sell in Lakewood Ranch last year: a 7,377-square-foot Highfield Circle property that went for $2.325 million in December.
Jimmy Stewart, the vice president of sales for Lakewood Ranch Communities, said million-dollar homes are selling at a brisk clip in 2015. Through the end of May, 41 homes valued at more than $1 million changed hands.
The former Alvarez home comes with a number of custom touches, including a swimming pool that features a rock wall with a two-person dining grotto under a waterfall. Inside, the home features six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a movie screening room and multiple bars located throughout.
The original list price for the home was $2.699 million. It was on the market for 257 days before the sale went through, according to the Multiple Listing Service.
Ciaccio said the price was reduced because the property could use some updating.
"It was in good condition, but it was a bit dated," Ciaccio said. "The buyer purchased the home to remodel it."
The buyers are an Ohio family with children who will attend the Out-of-Doors Academy in Lakewood Ranch, according to Ciaccio.
Alvarez was one of a number of professional athletes and sports figures who have lived in Lakewood Ranch. Others who have bought into the community include sports announcer Dick Vitale, PGA golfer J.B. Holmes and Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga.
Matt M. Johnson, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7027, or on Twitter @MattAtBradenton.