Monday, January 8, 2007

Shaq's Shack

SELLER: Shaquille O'Neal
LOCATION: Star Island, Miami, Florida
PRICE: $35,000,000
SIZE: 19,440 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 11 full and 3 half baths

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: We don't have a description from the listing agents so Your Mama will give you a brief run-down. Located on gated Star Island, the property spans two lots and covers about two and a half acres of landscaped, waterfront grounds. The nearly 20,000 square foot Mediterranean style house includes a pool, tennis court, dock, 2-bedroom guest house and, of course, an indoor basketball court.

You all probably know who this Shaquille person is, but all Your Mama knows is he plays basketball. Anything else is a miss-ter-ee to us. We did call our sports minded pal Fiona Trambeau out in San Francisco to give us the low-down on this man, but she was too busy "entertaining" to be able to talk to Your Mama, so we're going to have to stick to the facts of the real estate only.

Mr. Shaquille bought this home through a trust in 2004 for $18,800,000 according to public records. He then turned around and listed the property less than one year later for $32,000,000. A short time later, the house was taken off the market. And then it was put back on the market in late 2006...for $3,00o,000 more than before! Yes children, this man thinks he's entitled to a $16,000,000 profit after less than three years of owning the home. Your Mama is sorry, but that just seems greedy to us. We know the real estate has been insane in Miami the last few years, but it has not been this insane.

Star Island, a man-made, pill-shaped island floats in the Biscayne Bay--which separates mainland Miami from oceanfront Miami Beach--and contains just 35 home sites. This private, gated, super-secure enclave is accessed by the Macarthur Causeway. For all the children out there not lucky enough to be familiar with Miami, this causeway drops you onto Fifth Street near southern tip of South Beach. Star Island has a history of housing the rich and famous (i.e. Madonna, Sylvester Stallone, Al Capone) and it's current residents include Cuban bongo-beater Gloria Estefan, crooner Julio Inglesias, and that crazy Rosie O'Donnell along with her lady-friend Kelly and their expanding brood of children.

The property is listed through a couple of pretty blond gals at Coldwell Banker who market themselves as "the Jills." Yes babies, they're both named Jill. Cute, right? According to the listing information provided by the Jills, the taxes on this property are a faint-inducing $528,033 per year so you know the new homeowner needs to be making some serious paper to afford this house.

Mister Shaq's Mediterranean manse was built in 1992 and sits near the northwest tip of the island. Your Mama has no beef with the location or architecture of the house, but we are not impressed with the interior appointments. The kitchen manages to look both bland and unfriendly. And children, you know there is nothing right about the choice to paint the kitchen walls flesh color. Ever.

We are also not comfortable with the living room furniture. No doubt the Mrs. Shaquille's decorator charged her a small fortune for the sofas, sideboards and settees, but to Your Mama, this stuff looks like it was purchased at some furniture outlet High Point, North Carolina. We have no issue with Mr. Shaquille, his wife, or their family. We blame the decorator. After seeing how the decorator has blasphemed and insulted the house, Your Mama now understands why the O'Neals have being trying to unload this place practically since the day they moved in.

Sources: Real Estate Journal, Alex Shay, the Jills (Coldwell Banker)

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