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If only all of us had the cash

© St. Petersburg Times
published August 9, 2002

LOOSE CHANGE: If you have a little spare cash sitting around -- $9-million or so -- there's a home on the market just for you. Stan and Frankie Harrell are selling their 11,500-square-foot Palma Ceia golf course residence for that amount.

The home is on four very private park-like acres complete with ponds and bridges. The property belonged to the Howard Frankland family before the Harrells bought it and built their French-style home.

Pat Colmenares, a real estate agent with Smith and Associates, is listing the home. She says it's the most expensive house for sale in Hillsborough County. She should know. She's also listing Paul Bilzerian's house, which can be yours for $7.9-million; Chateau du Chene, a French castle in Avila that's going for $8.6-million; and the Davis Islands home of a famous baseball player, priced at $8-million. Colmenares is also listing a 32,000-square-foot home on 40 acres in Lake County for $10-million. That home was built by a couple who made their fortune in Amway. Start selling soap and you, too, might be able to move into one of Colmenares' top-dollar listings.

GOING, GOING, GOING: Interested buyers are reserving home sites at MiraBay faster than you can say, "30-year mortgage." Numbers are changing rapidly, but at last count more than 100 home sites had been reserved in the first few weeks of community tours.

Those folks are paying $5,000 each to reserve spots in the community's first phase. MiraBay is a 750-acre, gated waterfront community in Hillsborough County's SouthShore area. When completed in about eight years, MiraBay is expected to provide 1,350 single-family and about 400 multifamily residences.

Prices will range from the $200s to more than $1-million including the land.

YOU GO, GIRRRL: Cathy Byrd, the owner of Innovative Restorations Inc., was named to the board of directors of the 450-member Associated General Contractors of Greater Florida Inc.

She says she's the first woman to hold a board position. Byrd has worked in construction for 17 years and started her own business two years ago. She specializes in residential and commercial renovations, and accepts only projects that are in historic districts.

She attended her first board meeting in June and says that when she walked into the room, conversation stopped. It picked up again when they got down to business. Maybe the industry has found its softer side.

-- Write to Janet Zink in care of the St. Petersburg Times at 1000 N. Ashley Drive, Suite 700, Tampa, FL 33602; or by e-mail,

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