Hold on to your britches children because according to (not the actor) Billy Baldwin, supah-tall basketball player Shaquille O'Neal's South Beach property saga is over. That's right, Mister Shaq has finally sold his house on Miami's pill-shaped and celebrity stuffed Star Island. For those 4 or 7 children who don't already know the story, see if y'all can follow along Mister Shaq's bumpy real estate road.
The professional dribbler purchased the 19,440 square foot water front beast in 2004 for $18,800,000 and less than one year later flipped it back on the market with an asking price of $32,000,000, a figure which eventually rose to a hair raising $35,000,000 and was later reduced back down to $32,000,000.
Sometime in late 2007, before baseballer Alex Rodriquez filed for dee-vorce and before he was catting around with the Kabbalah Kween Madonna and long before he starting getting bizzy with Hollywood hottie Kate Hudson, word slipped down the real estate gossip grapevine that Mister A-Rod was in contract to buy the lavish but decoratively banal 8 bedroom, 11 full and 3 half pooper pile for somewhere in the $25-27,000,000 range. But alas, like his marriage, Mister A-Rod's deal for the Shaq Shaq did not stick.
In late 2008 Mister and Missus Shaq dropped the asking price to $29,000,000 and after about three years on the market, the real estate weary O'Neals finally and reportedly accepted an offer of $19,000,000 from a wealthy bizness man we heard (but can not confirm) was property developer/Broadway producer Peter Fine. But again...alas...That deal was, too, a no go.
After that debacle, in January of 2009, Mister Shaq's monster manse returned to the market with an asking price of $25,000,000 which was chopped to $22,500,000 in March.
Today, drum roll please, word is getting around that Shaq has finally sold his Shack. In fact, the transaction has closed. Yes, closed. No word yet on who coughed up how much moolah, but the details will surely slip out like water down a slide soon enough. Given that the on again/off again/on again Mister and Missus Shaq (reportedly) accepted an offer of nineteen million in late 2008, Your Mama is hard pressed to believe anyone would pay a penny more than 18 for the place. But we shall see, we shall see.
The last we heard Mister and Missus Shaq were shacking up in a sprawling rented mansion in Paradise Valley, AZ but honestly chickens, we're not sure if they're still living there or if they've moved on to other more permanent digs. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
UPDATE (later same day): News is now leaking out that the Shaq's shaq sold for $16,000,000 which is not only nineteen million less than the thirty-five Mister and Missus Shaq once wanted, it's also according to our bejeweled abacus a bone crushing $2,800,000 less than they paid for the place back in 2004. Just because he's filthy rich, does not mean that don't sting more than just a little.
Who might the buyer be inquiring minds want to know? According to the South Beach Real Estate Blog the buyer is smooth and large chested Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin, who happens to be the current man-friend of volatile supermodel and phone thrower Naomi Campbell. We hear the fetching–and reportedly married–property tycoon already owns a pied a terre at the swank Setai in South Beach but guess he figured it was time for something more substantial.
Also, Desert Donna heard our earlier cry and whispered in Your Mama's big ol' ear that Shaq and family have in fact vacated the Paradise Valley, AZ house they were leasing and which is back on the market (and being touted as a former residence of Mister Shaq) with an asking price of $3,600,000 after first being listed at $6,500,000. Looks like thinks are tough all over.
Mister Shaq was just this week traded to some team in Cleveland, OH where he will no doubt rake in a mountain of money so all you children living up around Cleveland way ought to be sure to snitch to Your Mama about where he ends up once he settles in.