Former St. Pete Beach estate of Busch beer magnate sells for $5.4 million

The property built by the late August A. Busch Jr. will remain a boutique resort

The Birds of Paradise Boutique Resort in St. Pete Beach
The Birds of Paradise Boutique Resort in St. Pete Beach

An unidentified buyer paid $5.4 million for the former St. Pete Beach estate of the late beer magnate August A. Busch Jr., who built the Anheuser-Busch brewing business.

The estate is a cluster of three fully furnished waterfront homes and a private marina that Busch built in the 1950s because he owned Tampa theme park Busch Gardens and the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, which then had a training facility in downtown St. Petersburg.

The Busch estate is in a residentially zoned area but operates as a resort under the name Birds of Paradise Boutique Resort. It occupies an entire waterfront block in St. Pete Beach.

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The seller is real estate developer John De Silva. After Busch died in 1989, Tampa beer distributor Arthur Pepin bought the estate and resold it in 1997 De Silva, who obtained a resort license for the property in 2000.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that a local individual bought the estate through a land trust.

De Silva has listed the estate for sale off and on since 2008, when his asking price was $19.75 million. An October 2015 auction with an opening bid of $3.9 million failed to produce a buyer.

The estate was listed for sale in January for $6.495 million but the asking price dropped in May to $5.95 million. [Tampa Bay Times] Mike Seemuth