Daily Business Review
September 15, 2005
Shaq Buying Fort Lauderdale House Built by H. Wayne Huizenga Jr.
By Oscar Pedro Musibay
Miami Heat star Shaquille O'Neal has signed a contract to pay about $22 million for the 17,000-square-foot mansion built by the son of billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga on the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale, according to three sources who asked not to be identified.
The sale of the 1.13-acre property at 1745 SE Eighth St. is being handled between the O'Neal and Huizenga families and is tied to the sale of the player's Star Island mansion, which is currently under contract, sources said.
O'Neal this week canceled the contract on a different waterfront home in Fort Lauderdale.
Coldwell Banker's, Macoriah Corey Nelson, O'Neal's broker and sister-in-law, confirmed Tuesday that the 19,440-square-foot mansion at 26 Star Island Drive in Miami Beach is under contract. A Sun-Sentinel story Wednesday reported a $30 million sale price.
"This will set the bar for single-family homes," said broker Kevin Tomlinson, who was not involved with the deals.
The home of H. Wayne Huizenga Jr. features cypress wood reclaimed from rivers in Georgia or North Florida, where logging had been common a century ago, said Elmes Group principal Tim Elmes, who had the listing on the house.
"It's like having your own Ritz-Carlton," Elmes added. It took three years to build the house and hand craft finishes for Huizenga, president of Huizenga Holdings, which owns the Miami Dolphins and Dolphins Stadium.
The swimming pool has handmade tiles decorated with whales, and the bottom has a 3-D effect. The house sits on the water but has been landscaped to create privacy, an important consideration in O'Neal's decision to relocate. The Star Island home had heavy boat traffic, which O'Neal didn't like.
Broker Carlos Justo, who is not involved in either transaction, said the quality of the Huizenga house is far superior to the prior house O'Neal had under contract and is an impressive buy based on the land value alone.
Just in time for his first season with the Heat, the 7-foot-1 center paid $19.8 million about a year ago for the furnished Star Island house once owned by former Heat center Rony Seikaly.