The 50,000-square-foot Colonial Revival mansion on Lake Down in Windermere regarded as Orlando’s largest home is back on the market. And while the $30 million asking price is familiar, the sales strategy is different.
Mick Night and John Pinel, agents with Premier Sotheby International Realty, are marketing the 18-acre estate as a development opportunity. The dedicated website reads that the “options available to further develop this property are endless in expanding/building more structures, various ways to subdivide, parcel into a family compound, or continue to enjoy it as one massive private gated lakefront estate as utilized currently.
“This exceptional estate presents a rare opportunity to own a property of this stature in one of Central Florida’s most sought-after locales,” they said in a release. “Designed to maximize views while offering practicality, its expansive acreage, serene setting and multiple structures provide infinite possibilities.”
The property at 9508 Windy Ridge Road had approved subdivision plans when Gelcorp founder Jeff Gelman and his wife, Christine, bought it in 2010 and built their personal home within the walled and gated compound complete with 15 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, two half-baths, and an art gallery and library.
The primary residence consists of 25,000 square feet of livable space with soaring ceilings, a floating mahogany staircase, a gourmet kitchen and a commercial elevator leading to the second floor, where you will find four expansive bedroom suites, including a second owners’ retreat and an 85-foot parlor highlighted by 20-foot ceilings, bookshelves and a wet bar. There’s also a boathouse and 625 feet of frontage on Lake Down in the Butler Chain of Lakes and a junior Olympic-sized swimming pool.
A breezeway connects the home to a 5,600-square-foot lodge with its own private bar and catering kitchen. The separate garage buildings are large enough to accommodate a full-sized motor coach and a collection of 50 cars.
The home was completed in 2011, and the Gelmans listed it for sale in 2015 for $30 million. Since then it has been on and off the market at prices ranging from $40 million to $28.5 million. The listing was removed in July 2021 and relisted a week ago.
In 2019, the home was the scene of an ugly incident in 2019 when a Winter Garden woman somehow gained access to the property and drove her SUV around the yard while chasing and screaming anti-Semitic insults at Gelmans. The woman, Kristen Kelly of Winter Garden, was charged with aggravated assault and burglary. A hate crime charge was later added.
In 2020, the Gelmans received approval from Orange County for a Land Use Plan that would clear the way to rezone the property to a Planned Development. The plan from Hall Development Services would have kept the main home intact and split off the eastern 4.4 acres into a separate lot with entitlements for 14 single-family homes. The minimum lot size would be 50 feet by 120 feet and the minimum house size would be 2,000 square feet. The couple never followed through with the rezoning, opting instead to put the entire property on the market.
This is the first time Knight and Pinel have marketed the Gelman property, but they have a long track record of successful luxury sales, including the $10.65 million sale last year of a mansion owned by another real estate developer, the late Robert Picerne, on Lake Virginia in Winter Park.
The most expensive home sold in the Orlando market so far this year is the 8,000-square-foot Capolavoro mansion in Disney’s Golden Oak neighborhood. It sold for $12 million after previously being listed for $16 million.
In 2021, Central Florida’s most expensive home sale topped out at $12.5 million. The sprawling estate sold by basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal ranked second at $11 million.