Philly Sports Live

Ryan Howard’s $23 Million Home: Lazy river and Bowling Alley

At 6 feet, 4 inches and 255 pounds, Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies is one of the biggest sluggers in the game. In a few years, he’ll have a house to match.

Last month, Howard received approval for the construction of a 17,500-square foot home in Belleair Shore, Fla., which is less than 10 miles from the Phillies’ spring training home in Clearwater.

The massive luxury home will sit on a one-acre Gulf-front lot that was vacant for three years before Howard purchased the site. The home’s design plans were revealed at a Town Commission meeting last July, according to the Belleair Bee. Crossing Broad, a Philly-based blog, estimates the value of the home could approach $23 million.

Special features include “a Venice-style lazy river running from the swimming pool underneath a series of bridges” and a bowling alley on the ground level with breakaway walls, architect Dan Dawson said.

The architect also said the home could take up to four years to build, much longer than the maximum allowed by the town’s strict building code. That code permits six months from the issuance of a building permit to begin construction, and 24 months from the permit date for completion. One six-month extension is allowed.

Mayor John Robertson said the town is eager to work with Howard and the builder to get the project completed, the Belleair Bee reports.

Time is on Howard’s side. He signed a five-year, $125 million contract extension with the Phillies last April that will carry him through the 2016 season.

Howard is currently on the disabled list recovering from a torn Achilles’ tendon, which he suffered in the final at-bat of the Phillies’ playoff series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s expected to return to action in late May or early June.