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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jul. 30, 201412:00 PM EST

What does a $15M estate in San Marco look like?


A 3-acre San Marco estate once owned by Jacksonville businessman Lee McIlvaine will be listed for sale Friday for $14.85 million.

“It’s never been for sale in 50 years,” said James Mussallem, who bought it in a private transaction in 2009 after McIlvaine’s death.

The gated 900 Brookwood Road property features an 8,000-square-foot house, pool, two docks and 700 feet of bulkheaded frontage on the St. Johns River.

Mussallem listed the property with The Legends of Real Estate. His niece, Cristina Mussallem Haddad, is a Realtor there. The house was built in 1946 for a shipbuilder named Kipnis, according to the marketing materials.

Mussallem, as trustee of the James M. Mussallem Family Trust, bought the riverfront estate five years ago, during the recession, and has been using it for guests, international and national visitors to the Mussallem Galleries and for family events.

The deed reflects a 2009 purchase price of $2 million.

Mussallem has renovated the house, while retaining some original features. The Duval County Property Appraiser’s office lists the 2014 assessed value in progress at $2.8 million.

Mussallem, who also has listed the Mussallem Galleries building for sale, said he is considering opening a gallery in Miami and would buy a house there, so he didn’t need the estate any longer.

The 77,000-square-foot Mussallem Galleries building at Philips Highway and Bowden Road is listed with Newmark Grubb Phoenix Realty Group. Mussallem is considering construction of a smaller structure closer to San Marco or, if the gallery building buyer agrees, on an outparcel at the site.

His family home, which is larger than the Brookwood house, is in the Clifton area of Arlington.

Mussallem set the pricing based on his sense of the property’s value and said there were no comparables on the market, specifically the 700-foot riverfront footage in trendy and historic San Marco.

The two-story home includes six bedrooms and seven bathrooms. Closets are lined with cedar. Windows from the remodeled kitchen, including marble and tile with some original walnut cabinets, and den offer panoramic views of the river.

There’s a 1,500-piece Art Deco glass door. There’s a wine cellar, outdoor kitchen and shuffleboard court on a large, manicured back lawn with a large variety of trees, including some 300-year-old oak trees, and a tropical garden.

There are maid’s quarters with a private bath and shower. There’s a fire hydrant on

the property.

Mussallem built two docks. One has two boat lifts that can accommodate up to 55-foot and up to 40-foot vessels. The separate fishing dock can accommodate boats as well. Mussallem said a yacht could comfortably moor at the property.

Haddad said the furnishings and artwork, which is displayed throughout the residence, could be negotiated for sale if the buyer is interested.

The decor reflects the inventory at Mussallem Galleries a five-generation family business that sells Oriental rugs, paintings, antiques, furniture, art objects and jewelry.

Only qualified buyers, defined as those referred by their real estate agents, can tour the Brookwood property.

Linda McMorrow, president of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors and a partner in The Legends of Real Estate, said the Brookwood property has no comparable because of the property size and water frontage in relation to its proximity to San Marco.

“There is not another one to compare with it in San Marco,” she said.

McMorrow said the property can accommodate a helipad, “which probably would be important to someone of the stature in lifestyle that would be interested in it.” She said the lawn area in the back by the river is the size of a football field.

McMorrow said she knows of no home Duval County that has sold for $14.85 million.

“The seller sets the price on properties and this is the value that he thinks is the most appropriate,” McMorrow said.

“It’s one of those (properties) that defies all the conventional comparables. We’ve always thought you price properties according to what has sold from similar properties. It does not apply here. It is so unique,” she said.

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