Call it the Magic syndrome.
Ever since Earvin “Magic” Johnson became a real estate entrepreneur, other veterans of the hardcourt have looked to replicate his success in the property market. Last year, for example, former NBA journeyman Rony Seikaly closed his own investment fund, Quadrant I, and teamed up with Lennar Homes for a development in Las Vegas. Now, another basketball star is looking to translate his crossover dribble to the real estate world.
San Antonio Spurs guard Nick Van Exel, who ranks sixth in NBA history in three-pointers made, has recently teamed up with Denver-based ProNet Capital to finance a $300 million hotel development on a deserted island in Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean, according to the Denver Post. ProNet is a private equity firm that works with professional athletes, entertainers and other high net worth individuals. Thirty-four other current or former athletes are reportedly involved in the project, including Amani Toomer of the New York Giants and Lavar Arrington, formerly of the Washington Redskins. Arrington was married on the island chain last year.
“If you've ever seen it or experienced it, you know it's a special place,” he told the Post. “It's one of my crown jewel investments.”
The new development, titled West Caicos Reserve, will include a luxury hotel, condos and single family homes costing $2.4 million to $8 million. Also on tap for the nine-square mile, uninhabited island is a harbor, surrounded by an 18th-century style village. The Gencom Group, a Miami investment firm, is a partner in the hotel, a 125-suite Ritz Carlton spa and resort.
No word yet on whether a basketball court will be part of the development.