If it fetches that asking price, the roughly 9-acre compound in Naples, Fla., would shatter the U.S. home sale record
Financier John Donahue was flying above Naples, Fla., in the 1980s when, according to family lore, he spotted an uninhabited piece of land along the Gulf of Mexico. He pointed to the tip of a peninsula known as Gordon Pointe and told his wife, Rhodora Donahue, “I want to go there.”
That’s just what he did, paying $1 million in 1985 for a roughly 4.3-acre parcel with nothing on it but a small fishing cottage surrounded by mangroves.
Over the next decade, the Donahues amassed roughly 60 acres, where they built a beachfront retreat for themselves and their burgeoning family of 13 children and 84 grandchildren, according to their son Bill Donahue.
Now, after John and Rhodora’s deaths, the family is listing the crown jewel of the estate—a roughly 9-acre compound in Naples’ Port Royal neighborhood with three houses and a private yacht basin—for a potentially record-setting $295 million.
With about 1,650 feet of waterfront, the property is the highest-priced listing in the U.S., and would set a record for the most expensive residential sale in the country if it fetches close to its asking price, according to Dawn McKenna of Coldwell Banker Realty, who is marketing the property with Leighton Candler of the Corcoran Group and Rory McMullen of Savills.
A Pittsburgh native, John Donahue graduated from West Point in 1946 and served in what is now the Air Force until 1950, when he enrolled in a Forbes magazine stock-market correspondence course. In 1955, with two high school buddies, he started the Pittsburgh-based investment-management firm Federated Investors. Now known as Federated Hermes, the company is run by Donahue’s son J. Christopher Donahue and manages $668.9 billion in assets, according to its website.