Injured Philadelphia Phillies slugger Ryan Howard has already earned $65 million at the major league level and this year his 5-year $125 million extension kicks in, so it's fair to say he has some spare loot rattling around the ol' bank account. Eager to divest himself of some of that pesky money, in February 2011 Howard paid $3.5 million for a beachfront lot of land in Belleair, Florida (only a few miles from the Phillies' spring training facility in Clearwater.)
Construction has been going steadily on what will ultimately be a 17,500 square-foot home and now Howard is ready to start building his own moat/lazy river—thanks to a friendly building commissioner. The lot itself is a mere acre but it will contain the giant house along with a "Venice-style lazy river running from the swimming pool underneath a series of bridges" and a bowling alley and the various other usual luxury amenities. All told the construction is expected to cost upwards of $23 million.
This manse goes along with Howard's Philly-area home as the burly first baseman builds up his real estate profile, which is nice, but doesn't beat John Smoltz's or David Beckham's home.
It's good to be rich.