Are NBA Star’s Real Estate Dealings a Sign of Things to Come?

April 18, 2010

Miami star and Chicago native Dwyane Wade bought a townhouse in this River West development last year.

When Dwyane Wade bought a piece of Chicago real estate last year, it fueled rumors that the Miami Heat guard might see playing for the Chicago Bulls in his future.

Now comes further fuel that the NBA star has sold his house in Florida, and he took a big loss to do it.

Wade purchased a newly remodeled riverfront townhouse in Kinzie Park last summer for $1,425,000. He got a great deal: The asking price was $1,699,000.

The 3,900-square-foot, four-story town home in River West has four bedrooms, three and a half baths, a fireplace in the living room and one in the master suite, a rooftop terrace with beautiful views, a balcony with a gas grill, a fenced yard on the edge on the river, a two-car garage and an elevator.

It’s not completely suspicious that the all-star bought a house here. Wade is a native of the south side of Chicago, graduated from Richards High School in Oak Lawn and married his high school sweetheart. The couple is reportedly divorcing.

Wade recently sold his Florida estate for a major loss.

But now Wade has sold his home in Pinecrest, Florida. I wonder if it was to a fan, because the 12,000-square-foot estate has a “W” engraved into the main foyer’s marble floor and “3 Flash 3” — Wade’s nickname and number — set in cement at the bottom of the outdoor pool. The listing included the furnishings, artwork and some of the star’s memorabilia.

He took a huge hit on the sale. After buying it in 2005 for $3,980,000, Wade first listed the mansion, which has six bedrooms, a Spiderman bathroom and a one-bedroom guest house, at $8.9 million. After reducing the asking price several times, he let it go for only $2.5 million. That comes out to only $277 per square foot.

Wade, who led the Heat to their first NBA Championship in 2006 and was NBA Finals MVP, is truly a celebrity. His jersey has been the top seller during the playoffs, he made the cut of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 2005, he was named Best Dressed NBA Player by GQ Magazine in 2006, and he was on Esquire Magazine’s Best Dressed Men in the World list two years in a row.

Dwyane "Flash" Wade

Dade County in Florida has even posted billboards that say Wade County in honor of the superstar. Did I mention that he is also a U.S. Basketball Olympic gold medalist?

The Miami Heat are playing the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Wade becomes a free agent at the end of the season, and it seems both Miami and Chicago would love to have him. So are all these real estate deals a sign of things to come?

“Chicago is my home city, and I love Chicago, but my heart is here in Miami,” Wade said Friday on ESPN Radio. “I appreciate that organizations want me to be a part of them, but right now Miami is in the driver’s seat.

“I don’t necessarily think about it as much as people think I do.”

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The people in the Miami are not going to be happy about this! But does it mean that Chicago has violated the free agent rules and have alreaedy come to an agreement with Wade? This is going to be intresting to follow.

How is the market in general in the Chicago area? Down here in Orlando fully 2/3 of our transactions are foreclosures and short sales. Very little high end inventory is moving.

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