By: Chelsea Lameira
Living in luxury isn’t always the life. Take former Boston Celtics and Miami Heat player and Chicago native Antoine Walker, who played professionally until retiring in 2008. At the height of his wealth, Walker was said to be worth $110 million, part of which he spent on a mansion in Tinley Park that featured everything from an indoor swimming pool to a gourmet kitchen and, of course, a full-size basketball court.
The home has a four-car garage, fully finished basement, home theater system, an indoor pool, full outdoor basketball court, nine bedrooms, each with their own walk-in closets and attached bathrooms, and a gourmet kitchen. The home is also located on a golf course in a gated community.
Walker has since been involved in a plethora of financial woes ranging from writing bad checks to cover expensive gambling debts in Las Vegas to being robbed at gunpoint, all of which led to his filing for chapter seven bankruptcy protection in May 2010. He is now experiencing what many homeowners are experiencing nationwide: foreclosure.
Walker is now involved in a $2.3 million foreclosure lawsuit on the Tinley Park mansion that, according to Chicago Real Estate Daily, he says he bought for his mother. The home was built to perfection until Walker hit hard times and watched as the mansion fell into disrepair.
The mansion is now on the market and listed at $1.8 million by MACK Companies, known for acquiring and redeveloping distressed properties, which heard about the opportunity from local bank connections and jumped at the chance to restore the home and put it back on the market.
Eric Workman, head of MACK Companies sales and marketing, says that this home was by far the most distressed property he has ever worked on in this price range. The basement of the home was flooded and contained about 6,000 square feet of water that was about four feet deep. After removing the water, the entire 6,000 square feet had to be remodeled and extensive construction to bring the house back up to code standards after the damage had to be done.
Additionally, the indoor pool was filled with some kind of “goo,” and over 23 light fixtures were missing, according to Chicago Magazine.
“Six-thousand square feet of the property was not livable,” said Workman. “Had there not been that damage, we wouldn’t have had this opportunity, but it made the remodel very difficult.”
Workman says that despite its damage, currently, thanks to MACK Companies’ remodel, the home is an exceptional value. If the home was to be rebuilt in today’s market, it would cost over $3 million dollars; it was built for $4 million and it is being sold for a mere (in comparison) $1.8 million, priced at 60 percent of the replacement cost. He believes the listing will sell quickly at the current price.
“It’s an incredible value for almost 19,000 square feet at under $2 million,” said Workman.
Now that the home has been remodeled and no corners have been cut, Workman says there is nothing that this luxury home doesn’t have to offer.
“There is nothing a luxury homeowner could say, ‘I wish it had this’ about,” said Workman.