The Real Deal Miami

Where would LeBron James live if he moved to Miami?

By Alexander Britell | July 02, 2010 06:30PM

alternate textLeBron James and 28 Harbor Point Drive in Key Biscayne, currently listed for $24.95 million

Since before midnight on July
1, rumors have been swirling about the possibility of Cleveland
Cavaliers superstar LeBron James jumping ship from Cleveland to join
Dwyane Wade with the Miami Heat. While Wade has played well enough to
change the county’s name to Miami-Wade County, it’s unlikely LeBron
would tolerate the commute from LeBroward County — so he’d have to
choose from the best homes and condos Miami has to offer.

James has been seen looking at homes in New York recently, and he would find no shortage in Miami.

But one idea is to go with the current trend — and do a superstar-sized bulk deal.

“LeBron
is going to sign [an NBA contract] for about $17 million [the maximum
allowable under the NBA’s salary cap],” said Condo Vultures Realty
Founder Peter Zalewski. “You can afford about 25 percent of your income
towards annual payments, so theoretically he can afford $4 million a
year in a mortgage — not that he needs one. But if he were to spend a
full year’s salary toward buying a place, I’d recommend that he does a
bulk deal.”

Zalewski said James, if he signs with the Heat,
should combine several of the bulk units together, while renting out
the others or reselling them.

“In Icon Brickell, he can probably get $250 per square foot,” Zalewski said.

That
number would work out to a purchase of approximately 64
1,000-square-foot units in the Brickell complex at 465-475 Brickell
Avenue. “I’d probably recommend something like Icon, because it’s close
to the arena, or 900 Biscayne,” he added.

If he were looking
for an oceanfront bargain, realtor Lana Belenky of Sunny Isles Miami
Real Estate said she had the perfect unit for LeBron at Jade Ocean in
Sunny Isles.

“That’s probably the one I would see for him, with a flashy lifestyle,” she said.

The
unit is an oceanfront penthouse with 4,000 square feet and an asking
price of an affordable — by NBA superstar standards — $5 million.

But
if James wants to make a statement (and find sufficiently large
ceilings), perhaps he should look at the $12.5 million home at 1647 N
View Drive on Sunset Island in Miami Beach, listed by broker Nelson Gonzalez of Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell.

The
9,944-square-foot home, built in 2007, has 100 feet of waterfront, a
13-seat theater, a four-car garage and vaulted ceilings. And with the
money he’ll save from not having to pay state income tax in Florida, he
can afford the estimated $139,353 yearly tax bill to the county.

There’s
also 28 Harbor Point Drive, the $24.9 million listing on the edge of
Key Biscayne, a six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home with 11,556 square
feet. The home has a 114-foot dock, a wine cellar and an indoor
racquetball court. Betsey Hall, the associate at Fite Shavell, who just
brokered the sale of author James Patterson’s home,
said if LeBron decided to make the trip to Palm Beach and join his
celebrity friends, he’d be a great fit at 300 El Brillo in Palm Beach.

The
$13.8 million listing is a classic, 1935 home, with six bedrooms and
nine bathrooms — more than enough room for LeBron, his girlfriend
Savannah and his two children. It also has a tennis court that Hall
said could easily be converted into an outdoor basketball court.


LeBron could go for a bulk buy at 900 Biscayne, top left, or Icon Brickell, lower right corner.
He could also for a classic Palm Beach estate, like 300 El Brillo Way, top right, or a
waterfront palace on Sunset Island, like the one at 1647 N View Drive, bottom left.


Got a tip? Email Alexander Britell at ab@therealdeal.com