Over the past twelve months, it seems anybody that's anybody has jumped onto the real estate bandwagon. Celebrities like actor George Clooney to musicians like Madonna to reality show stars like Pamela Day, a contestant from the second season of “The Apprentice”, have all entered the real estate game in some way or another in 2005.
But the biggest real estate entrepreneurs have been professional athletes. Following in the vein of well-known real estate investor Magic Johnson, 2005 has seen former NBA journeyman Rony Seikaly close his own Miami-based investment fund on $64 million, five-time Pro-Bowler Hardy Nickerson launch a real estate brokerage company for professional athletes and Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw invest in a series of luxury developments sponsored by, among others, Westbrook Partners.
As if the trend had anywhere to go but down, now there's John Rocker. The former Atlanta Braves baseball pitcher, made infamous by his comments to Sports Illustrated on gays and minorities, has started a real estate development company. The aptly named Southern Boys DevelopmentGroup, which includes several current and former players for the Atlanta Falcons football team, has recently broken ground on its first project: a residential development in the Florida panhandle.
“The problem with real estate investment is it's a long-term business. But, if you can make it quick, you win.”
– Farhan Faraidooni, Dubai architect, quoted in a New Yorker article about the astonishing pace of development in the emirate
“The real estate hedge fund will be the opportunity fund of the next decade.”
– Ken Rosen, chairman of Rosen Real Estate Securities, at the NCREIF / PREA Fall Conference 2005
“The world of real estate is more beautiful, more agonizing, more insane, more volatile, more allconsuming than ever before.”
New York magazine editor-inchief Adam Moss explaining the launch of Vu, a 30-page real estate “magazine-within-amagazine”, in a letter to readers
“Ugly real estate often makes more money than the nice stuff.”
– Kelley Pace, head of Louisiana State University's real-estate research institute, on MSN