The economy is in the tank, but that didn't stop a home on Lake of the Isles from selling this week for an eye-popping $4.859 million, apparently making it the highest-priced house ever sold in Minneapolis.

And even at that price, there must have been some serious negotiating. The Spanish Mediterranean-style home went on the market with Sotheby's International Realty in February for $5.495 million.

Ironically enough, the home held the city's previous record when Tom and Angie Wicka bought it in 2004 for $4 million. Word is that the couple is building a home in Edina.

Only one thing is known about the buyer: It's not Brett Favre.

The house is so distinct it's a point of reference on the lake. It's a gated estate on the corner of W. 25th Street and E. Lake of the Isles Parkway, with regal white columns framing a curved rooftop terrace that's covered by a sunburst pergola.

The home was featured as a Star Tribune "You can have it for ..." this spring. Designed by architect Frederick Soper for a wealthy merchant, it cost $10,400 to build in 1911. Over the years, one owner converted the 15-room mansion into three apartments. Local developer Elizabeth Hyatt, who refurbishes historic homes, bought it for $465,000 in 1988 and restored it to a single-family home. The Wickas bought the home in 2004 from Edward Bazinet, founder of the Dept. 56 giftware company.

They updated and redecorated the 7,750-square-foot home, refinishing and painting almost every surface.

While $4.859 million is a bundle to pay for a house, it's slight in comparison with the all-time highest price in the Twin Cities area: $17.5 million in 2006 in Wayzata for a property on Lake Minnetonka. And in St. Paul? The record is $2.15 million in 2007. The prices are from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, which does not release specific addresses for those homes.

Staff writer Lynn Underwood contributed to this report. Suzanne Ziegler • 612-673-1707