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Local TV general manager buys $1.26M home in Longwood

Local TV general manager buys $1.26M home in Longwood
A 6,372-square-foot home recently bought in Longwood's Alaqua Lakes neighborhood by the new president and general manager of WESH-TV. (Orlando Luxury Homes Inc.)

John R. Soapes, who will take over Friday as president and general manager at Orlando's NBC affiliate, WESH-TV, recently purchased a home in Longwood's exclusive Alaqua Lakes neighborhood for $1.26 million.

Soapes and his wife, Julia R. Soapes, bought the 6,372-square-foot home on June 20. The couple obtained a mortgage of $1.008 million on the property from EverBank of Jacksonville, according to Seminole County records.

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Sue Silberbusch, owner of Orlando Luxury Homes, was the listing agent on the sale, and told GrowthSpotter she represented the Soapeses and seller Shirley Bakos.

John R. Soapes
John R. Soapes

Located in the 3400 block of Rockcliff Place in The Reserve section of Alaqua Lakes, the home sits on 1.3 acres. The single-story structure is a custom Dave Brewer model and features five bedrooms and 4.5 baths, a large game room and a paved walkway that circumvents the building, according to a web listing for the property.

Other features include a heated pool, a putting green, master study, and a covered lanai with fireplace and summer kitchen.

The seller, Shirley Bakos, is the widow of Frank Bakos, the former president of the Westinghouse power generation business unit headquartered in Orlando. Frank Bakos died in April 2013 at age 75 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

Shirley and Frank Bakos bought the lot on Rockcliff Place in May 2004 for $195,000. The house was built in 2005. The house and property were valued at just over $1 million at that time by the Seminole County Property Appraiser.

Soapes comes to the Orlando area from Greenville, S.C., where he was president and general manager of WYFF, the NBC affiliate there.

In addition to leading WESH-Channel 2, Soapes will also take over as president and general manager of WKCF-TV, Channel 18, Orlando's CW affiliate, where he served as general sales manager from 2001-2011.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at msalinero@outlook.com. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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