Movers & Shakers
July 8, 2005
Who's buying, who's selling in the world of high-end real estate - Shaq's $32 Million Shack
By Sara Clemence
Star basketballer Shaquille O'Neal's Florida estate just hit the market for $32 million, less than a year after he bought it.
Last summer, after a dramatic move from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Miami Heat, O'Neal bought the approximately 20,000-square-foot house on Miami's exclusive Star Island for around $19 million. Former Miami Heat center Rony Seikaly built the mansion in 1992, which meant that the dimensions fit the 7 foot 1, 325-pound center.
"Shaq bought it immediately because the doorways are very tall," says broker Kevin Tomlinson of Esslinger Wooten Maxwell Realtors. "It's the only house he could fit into."
Announcing his cross-country move last year, O'Neal jokingly asked for a 15% commission if anyone sold a photo of him walking unclothed on the beach. But it appears Shaq is less than fond of the attention his waterfront estate has been getting.
The guard-gated (and aptly named) Star Island lies in Biscayne Bay, between Miami Beach and the mainland. Other high-profile residents include music mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and singer Gloria Estefan. Rumor has it that the sports star, who ranked fifth on Forbes' Celebrity 100 list this year, is sick of the tour boats that lurk in the waters around celebrity homes, hoping for a glimpse. O'Neal, whose $28 million-per-year paycheck is the highest in the NBA, is rumored to be browsing in the Ft. Lauderdale area.
The Star Island house has eight bedrooms and ten baths, and sits on a rare 2.5 acres of land. It features a tennis court, racquetball court, gym, 300 feet of dockage and a two-bedroom guesthouse. It is listed with Cori Nelson at Coldwell Banker, who said she could not discuss any details.
The price record for a Miami-Dade County residence is around $21 million, Tomlinson says. Even if O'Neal's property goes for far below the asking price, it could set a new standard. And, to add to the desirability, his is the only Star Island home currently on the market.