Bay area developer Scarfone dies at 73

Prominent Tampa architect and developer Lee Scarfone died Saturday (May 28, 2005) at his Bayshore home. He was 73.

Published June 4, 2005

Mr. Scarfone was the head of Architect Lee Scarfone and Associates, and was known for his involvement in many large-scale projects in the bay area.

Mr. Scarfone moved to St. Petersburg from New Jersey when he was 16. He graduated from St. Petersburg High School in 1951. He spent four years in the Navy before attending the University of Florida. He graduated in 1959 with a degree in architecture.

Among his projects in Tampa is the Pinnacle condominium building on Bayshore Boulevard.

Mr. Scarfone was co-owner of the Tampa Bay Bandits of the now-defunct United States Football League from 1982 until it folded in 1986.

In 1988, Mr. Scarfone was accused of state and federal civil racketeering charges and forced to pay $3.7-million dollars to ARAMCO, a Saudi Arabian oil company for which he designed schools and housing projects in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

That same year, he announced plans to renovate the historic Bigelow Mansion at Bayshore and Gandy boulevards, but was stymied by his legal troubles. His name is perhaps most recognizable for its association with the University of Tampa's Scarfone/Hartley Gallery. The gallery, which opened in 1977, originally was named the Lee Scarfone Gallery. Mr. Scarfone, a dedicated patron of the arts, designed the interior and paid for much of the project. .

Blount and Curry Funeral Home, MacDill Avenue Chapel, is in charge of arrangements. At the request of family, no survivor information was released.