Couple places winning bid for historic equestrian estate.
By Paul Ivice, Special to Treasure Coast Newspapers
FORT PIERCE — Though auction sellers always want a higher bid, the Piowaty family was pleased with the winning bid and the buyers of their waterfront equestrian estate.
Among 18 registered bidders, Marcus and Tina Head placed the winning bid of $583,000, including the 10 percent buyer’s premium, in the absolute auction Thursday evening of the 118-year-old home at 8005 S. Indian River Drive in the Akona section of Fort Pierce. The last listing price on the estate was $665,000.
They have 60 days to close on the sale. Sometime before then, the Piowaty family will have an estate sale for many of the furnishings and other items.
Newcomers to the Treasure Coast, the couple have two young sons. They will become only the fourth owners of the home built in 1898, though it has undergone several rounds of additions and remodeling.
Marcus Head said they found the four-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot home a good fit because the couple are both home-based workers — he is a freelance writer and she works in health care consulting for Chicago-based Navigant.
“We came to see (the house) about seven times,” Marcus Head said. “We love the space for the kids — the pool, outdoor area.”
He said of the lush 4.4-acre estate, “It’s like living on a resort.”
Marcus Head said they like the freshness, markets and seasonal atmosphere of the Treasure Coast.
And, he said, he likes the easy access to fishing that he will have from the dock extending into the Indian River Lagoon.
It wasn’t until after the Heads were declared the winning bidders by Stuart-based auctioneer Elliot Paul that the buyers and sellers realized they had some parallels.
The seller, Deborah Piowaty, is a native of Detroit. Tina Head is from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Piowaty’s late husband, Jim, who died in January at age 90, was a native of Chicago. So is Marcus Head.
The Piowatys bought the estate in 1972, and raised three of their four children there.
Kathleen Fredrick, the youngest of the Piowaty children, said she was happy that a couple with young children bought the property, “so they can live in the house like we lived in it.”
“I think it’s wonderful to see a young African-American couple buy this home,” said Fredrick, noting that her late father was given a lifetime achievement award by the NAACP in 2004 for Humanitarian Efforts. “It’s a sign of change in this community; it’s a good thing.
“My mother is in tears because my father would be so happy, because he spent his life working for civil rights. It just feels right.”