"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The St. Jetersburg Winter Palace

There’s a story in the Times today about Derek Jeter’s infamous new mansion – St. Jetersburg, as the locals have dubbed it. 30,875 square feet, two three-car garages, and no yard.  Right on the road with a six-foot fence for privacy. “Seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a pool, two boat lifts, a drive-through portico,” whatever that is.

 

I dunno, you guys.

With the caveat that Jeter has the right to do whatever he wants… this just seems strange,  doesn’t it?  Jeter’s spent his New York tenure living well – apartment in Trump Towers, famous girlfriends, tropical vacations, clubs – but he hasn’t typically been so over-the-top about it. If it’s possible to party with models in a classy sort of way, he generally has. And I admit I don’t know much about the etiquette of mansion-building… but isn’t this a little… tacky?

How big is The House That Jeter Built? Well, it is slightly smaller than an average Best Buy electronics store, and twice as big as the late owner George Steinbrenner’s 13,480-square-foot house in South Tampa.

Rodney Kite-Powell, curator for the Tampa Bay History Center, said Jeter’s house was bigger than all but two of the original 1920s-era apartment/hotel buildings originally built on Davis Islands.

Whenever star players are in contract negotiations, there’s always a moment where I think, “How the hell can $15 million a year (or whatever it is) not be enough for you?!” But it’s become clear over time that when you have that kind of money it just doesn’t seem like as much as one might think it would.  So I might say to myself, “Who would ever need that much space?! One boat lift really wouldn’t suffice?” But I guess it’s all relative, and when you get to that level, your perspective is different. Also, to be honest, I am not entirely sure what a boat lift is, but if it involves moving boats around in any way then I think my point stands.

Jeter won’t talk about this – the mansion, not the definition of a boat lift -  which is understandable, but I’m genuinely curious as to what his thinking was here.

And regardless: Can you imagine how much crap A-Rod would take, if he built this?

Categories:  Emma Span  Yankees

Tags:  Derek Jeter  St. Jetersburgh

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33 comments

1 hiscross   ~  Feb 28, 2011 10:34 pm

What's the fuss? It's his money, let him spend it they way he wants. It's not like Barry gave him a bunch of TARP money. Wonder he applied for homesteading exemption that reduce his property tax.

2 Chyll Will   ~  Feb 28, 2011 10:39 pm
3 OldYanksFan   ~  Feb 28, 2011 10:58 pm

"One boat lift really wouldn’t suffice?”
WTF is the matter with you Emma???
What if one boat life breaks?
Did you think about that...huh?

4 OldYanksFan   ~  Feb 28, 2011 11:00 pm

Oh,,, and Republican Governor Bush just passed a Tax break for people with houses over $30,000 sf.

5 Yankster   ~  Feb 28, 2011 11:05 pm

My father (and I) built custom homes. its one of the few assets that can test the capacity of even wealthy people. It's the only thing to scale with Jeter's wealth. And believe me, there are a lot of neverland ranches and megayachts out there that make this seem classy. Square footage is a weird measure too. Who cares? You can build a best buy for $250,000, but you wouldn't want to. It's not like he has mtv crib in there examining his conspicuous consumption. Finally, I thought he was building this in part for his parents who were supposed to occupy one wing?

The time to be outraged was when he was getting paid. Not when he spends it.

ps: you can get a nice boat lift for $20,000. It's not a big deal in comparison to even a modest car. or a well built dock, which can cost a lot.

6 Diane Firstman   ~  Feb 28, 2011 11:32 pm

Some thoughts ....
1) Can you see it from the Mir Space Station?
2) The "boat lift" might be useful in scooping up wayward mermaids
3) A-Rod gets 1st "sleepover"?

7 Just Fair   ~  Feb 28, 2011 11:39 pm

It's fucking ridiculous.

8 Emma Span   ~  Feb 28, 2011 11:53 pm

I'm not outraged, and I said right up at the top that he can spend his money however he wants. It just seems like, well, a lot... he could have 10 people's parents move in. It's certainly his call, but if you build something so huge and prominent, you can't expect that no one will say a word about it. That's the thing that surprises me, I guess - usually Jeter has seemed to make a point of avoiding spectacle.

Oh - and a boat lift is only $20,000? Sign me up!

9 Emma Span   ~  Feb 28, 2011 11:56 pm

I wonder if anyone will ever write a real, illuminating, in-depth biography of Jeter. It would probably be almost impossible at this point, but maybe in a couple decades...

10 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 1, 2011 12:01 am

[5] Why wouldn't I want to build a Best Buy for 250 Grand? For what people pay for crappy houses around here, I'd build a Best Buy-sized building and build a series of jungle gym-style cottages, cabins or lofts within that structure; connected by rope bridges, with a playground for playing basketball, kickball, whiffle ball... and a barbecue pit!

The idea is to keep the neighbors' noise from getting to you... >;)

11 thelarmis   ~  Mar 1, 2011 12:05 am

[10] so, does that mean there won't be any drum studios in your best buy?

12 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 1, 2011 12:13 am

[11] Shhhh.... I'm digging a drum pit next to the underground garage...

13 Eddie Lee Whitson KO   ~  Mar 1, 2011 1:34 am

couldnt afford a yard?

14 briang   ~  Mar 1, 2011 1:36 am

maybe minka wanted it really bad?....it's nice to give your lady something she wants.

15 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 1, 2011 1:46 am

[13] Sure he can; he's got approximately 10,292 square ones he apparently doesn't want to lend to anyone.

At least after he's retired, he won't be one of those old guys yelling at kids to get off his lawn...

16 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 1, 2011 1:53 am

[14] Man, that's just way too easy to take out of context...

17 Mattpat11   ~  Mar 1, 2011 2:35 am

A key to the "what if A-Rod did this?" question.

If A-Rod did this, he would have inadvertently demolished an orphanage or something to get the land. Because he's Charlie Brown.

[15] I'm sure Kevin Brown never thought he would either, and look how that turned out.

18 joejoejoe   ~  Mar 1, 2011 5:14 am

A safe conservative person spends about 25% of their annual income on housing expenses. Jeter is spending far less than than on Chateau Ginormous.

19 Shaun P.   ~  Mar 1, 2011 5:18 am

I'll defer to someone better versed in finance than me - but my WAG is that its an investment. The odds are low that the house's value will drop, I'm guessing. Its not like he has anymore $17M/year contracts coming. High-end real estate probably has a safer return on investment than playing the market. Jeter has managed everything else so well, it'd be a surprise if his finances were NOT well-managed.

Or maybe he's just having fun with all that money.

[17] mattpat, your line about A-Rod cracked me up. Well done.

20 williamnyy23   ~  Mar 1, 2011 7:51 am

[8] Has Jeter avoided spectacle? The litany of starlets he has dated seems to contradict that. Jeter has never shied away from the lifestyle of a wealthy celebrity; he just refuses to discuss it publicly. There’s a difference.

[19] In the current financial environment, you could definitely argue that it has never been easier to get financing (which Jeter may not have even needed), not to mention cheaper to buy/build a home (if you have good credit). Also, with the housing market at all-time lows, future values are likely to only go up. Of course, that also means Jeter could probably have bought an existing mansion for even cheaper, but I’d imagine building a house that size to customization is part of the luxury, which doesn’t make them great investments. If Jeter wanted to sell, he’d have to find a buyer who could afford the home, and unless the location is the driving force behind the purchase, I’d imagine most people with that kind of money might also want to build their own.

Personally, I have no problem with wealthy people spending their money. Aside from donating to effective charities, it’s the best thing they can do. After all, our economy is based on consumption. I am sure all the people who worked on Jeter’s home were ecstatic that someone was building such a large scale project during a very dark period in the local construction market.

21 Sliced Bread   ~  Mar 1, 2011 9:02 am

The New York Times interviewed Jeter's garbage man and led the piece with that. I think that shows how ridiculous the Jeter backlash has gotten, and how far the Times has fallen.
None of the other players mentioned in the piece, including Mo, has made the kind of money Jeter's made in salary and endorsement deals. So, it's unfair to compare where, and how they live to how Jeter lives.
I think it's a sweet looking place, and I say good for him.

One thing I agree with Emma about is that ARod would take more crap than Jeter's getting, but only because the ARod backlash is beyond ridiculous.

22 The Hawk   ~  Mar 1, 2011 9:11 am

I don't give two ****s what he buys or has built for the most part. That being said, it's ugly and I find it bizarre to put that much time and money into a property with no yard at all (obviously excluding places like NYC).

23 boslaw   ~  Mar 1, 2011 9:36 am

the funny thing is, 90% of the time he's there, he'll probably use no more than 1/7 or 1/8 of that house. He doesn't have kids taking up any rooms. Really, on a daily basis, do you use more than your kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom, and maybe dining room? Possibly office too? You can get all of those things super-grande sized into a 3000 sq ft house (remember, he only needs 1 bedroom). So the other 27000 sq feet will sit dormant and unused most days and nights, waiting for parties and visitors. Maybe he'll loan it out to family, friends, other celebs, etc. while he's not there.

In my wildest imagination, if I hit the bazillion dollar lottery, I imagine I'd want a ridiculous pad like this, but when it came time to actually start writing the checks, I can't imagine going this big unless I added a bunch of very large rooms like basketball courts, gyms, olympic sized swimming pools, bowling alleys, 100 person movie theaters, etc.. Come to think of it, maybe that's exactly what he did. He can't easily go out bowling or to a pool or the movies without being ogled so now he has the ability to do those things in his own privacy.

24 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 1, 2011 10:12 am

Some more thoughts:

1) Just wait till the Global Warming melting polar ice cap tides overlap the coast.
2) That mansion looks like something to buy on Facebook's "Cityville"

25 rbj   ~  Mar 1, 2011 10:36 am

No way am I building something like that without a yard. A nice big yard. Maybe have a flock of sheep too, to keep the grass low. But that will also mean a border collie, and a shepherd. And at least 3 boat lifts. 1) the main one, 2) the extra for the spare boat, 3) the emergency one in case either of the first two breaks down.

26 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 1, 2011 10:49 am

[24] In regards to point 1, that's really the first thing I thought. Most of South Florida is about 4 feet above sea level; there's a movement to build up the Florida panhandle in anticipation of the rising sea level and loss of land and property in the south. Must be one of those guys who doesn't think global warming exists because of all the snow we got this winter >;)

27 Sliced Bread   ~  Mar 1, 2011 11:04 am

Global warming is definitely ARod's fault, and it wouldn't surprise me if he advised Jeter not to factor it into his building plan. Maybe the NY Times can check this theory with Jeter's garbage man

28 Simone   ~  Mar 1, 2011 12:56 pm

[24] and [26] , exactly. I can't imagine living so close to the ocean, it is pure craziness. Hope Jeter has some major insurance on that mansion for when the sea rise.

[25] ITA. No back yard. Seriously?

Alex would have gotten done over if he had built that kind of mansion. Jeter has luck with him.

29 knuckles   ~  Mar 1, 2011 1:28 pm

Late to the party, but as a real estate guy myself, I can tell you that while the house price is relatively in line with the megarich market, he’s going to really take a bath on pumping his special blend clutch-enhanced oxygen to all corners of that joint. It takes a very specific type of carbon/titanium piping, for which Boeing has really driven up the prices in building their Dreamliner.

30 Diane Firstman   ~  Mar 1, 2011 1:44 pm

[29]

FTW!

Given Jeter's limited range, I wouldn't be surprised if he Segways from one side of the mansion to the other.

31 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Mar 1, 2011 2:28 pm

In no particular order...

1. This story was fair game on the day Hank mouthed off. It was fair game the day Jeter responded. So far, so good for the NYT. But then they follow it up with a feature that has no news hook... and write about the man's garbage cans.

Again: The New York Times followed a baseball player home (in essence if not in fact) and wrote about how many garbage cans they found in front of his house. That's classless on a "Weekly World News" level.

2. All of Jeter's Manhattan haunts are where he lives while playing baseball. In building a Tampa home, he's at least plausibly building the place he wants to live in for the rest of his life. With his new wife. And maybe some kids. Different standard in my opinion.

3. How about a few props for his having built it on a public street and not in the middle of some 1000-acre gated preserve, half a mile behind a guard house? And yes, I know he has a fence going up. Six feet, not sixty. Sheesh.

The reasoning that Jeter earned his money, came by the property legally and is entitled to do as he pleases tends to get one of two receptions from some people: either grudging lip service or outright rejection. But it's my entire opinion. I will never have a fraction of what Jeter has, materially, and I manage to hold zero resentment over it. There's a troubling undercurrent of restless, populist spite in this country -- if I can't have something, anyone who does is fair game for attack -- and if we can't roll that back, how about we at least keep it out of my sports pages?

32 The Mick536   ~  Mar 1, 2011 8:09 pm

Boring. Jete has no taste and no class. And, while he has the right to spend his money as he pleases and control his image as he wants, this place spits in the faces of those of us who watch him and pay him. I don't begrudge him his money or his place in baseball history, but I just cancelled my reservation to his induction.

33 Bronx Boy in NC   ~  Mar 2, 2011 11:37 am

We've known exactly how much Jeter was making for years and years, and held him up a a pretty good guy all that time. What did we expect he was going to do, get a split-level ranch in Syosset?

The headline boils down to "Really Rich Guy Builds Really Big House." So you're right -- "boring" -- but not for the reason you meant.

Unless you thought he was going to give you all his money and move into the Y, I'm not sure how he's spitting on anyone.

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