The Juice could return to South Florida later this year.
O.J. Simpson, who’s doing time in a Nevada prison after being convicted of robbery and kidnapping in 2008, was granted parole last week and has already said he’d like to move to Florida when he’s released in October.
Most real estate agents told The Real Deal they expect Simpson to live near a golf course, and Broward may be his best option. But they are divided on representing him.
“Most celebrities are very focused on security, and for him, I would suspect he has no worries there because no one is going to want to step on his property,” said Compass sports and entertainment agent Ben Moss. “Realistically, the place where he can get the privacy is southwest Broward. Land there is $3 to $5 per square foot, whereas in Miami Beach on the water it can be $300 per square foot.”
Yet Moss, who’s worked with professional athletes like Kevin Durant, Karlos Dansby, Jake Long and others, would not represent him. “I wouldn’t want to have anything to do with him just because I think he’s guilty,” he said.
The former NFL player has called Miami home before. He moved to the area about five years after he was acquitted in the murders of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman. Simpson lost his Kendall house to foreclosure in 2013 after he stopped paying the mortgage in 2010. (It’s now on the market for $1.3 million.) Simpson could live with one of his kids, Sydney, a real estate investor, or Justin, a real estate agent, according to the New York Post. Sydney and Justin, who both attended Gulliver Schools, now live in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Money shouldn’t be too much of an issue. While in prison, Simpson was still earning an income. The incarcerated Hall of Famer is expected to collect payments from his NFL pension totaling more than $600,000. Florida law also prevents the seizure of a homestead to pay off civil judgments. In 1996, he was ordered to pay $33.5 million to the families of his ex-wife and Goldman in a civil judgment.
Tomi Rose, head of Opulence International Realty’s sports and entertainment division, would steer Simpson toward new construction – a “fresh start,” she said. Neighborhoods like Boca Grove in Boca Raton, where prices average about $840,000, Bay Point in Miami, Landmark Ranch Estates in Southwest Ranches, and Tahiti Beach in Coral Gables, where prices average about $16 million, were her top picks. Representing Simpson would “be amazing,” Rose added. Her previous clients include athletes like LeBron James.
The secluded neighborhoods “would provide privacy and peace to his family during the healing process,” she said. And communities like Boca Grove have a slew of amenities including a golf course. One of Simpson’s friends recently told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he “wants to just keep a low profile, be with his kids, be with his family, play golf.”
Julian Johnston, a top broker in Miami Beach, questioned whether Simpson would be accepted into a community like Bay Point because of his felony record. “Because of the paparazzi, I think he’ll be looking for privacy … definitely close to a golf course.”
Johnston didn’t say whether he would represent Simpson in his hunt for a new home, but added that he would sell him one of his listings.
Some brokerages apparently want to steer clear of the subject. Douglas Elliman and One Sotheby’s International Realty, which both have sports and entertainment divisions, declined to participate in this story.