Michael Jordan can't unload his mansion
Michael Jordan is king when it comes to selling most products—from sneakers to T-shirts or Gatorade. But when it comes to selling his own house, Air Jordan is coming up short.
Michael Jordan's sprawling mansion outside Chicago is back on the market after several price cuts and a busted auction. The estate, in Highland Park, Ill., first came on the market in 2012 for $29 million. Now it's listed for $16 million—a $13 million price cut.
The listing follows a failed auction in December, which did not attract a buyer at the expected price of $13 million or more. Brokers say it may be even more difficult to sell the home after a failed auction—especially at $16 million.
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"I'm not sure of the logic of raising the price," said one broker. "If it didn't sell at $13 million, how might it sell at $16 million?"
So why is the Jordan magic not working with his estate? Brokers say its main flaw is its location.
Homes near Jordan's in Highland Park typically trade for $1 million to $5 million. So $16 million is a huge leap.
What's more, Jordan's home is located near a busy set of railroad tracks. There is a $17.5 million listing in Highland Park, but that property comes with 25 pristine acres of farmland.
Brokers say the most expensive homes sold in Chicago over the past five years were both around $12 million—making the $16 million price tag look high.
The other issue is the Jordan premium. Yes, there may be some basketball-loving billionaires and millionaires in Chicago who covet owning Jordan's former house—along with the regulation-size NBA court that Michael and his buddies used to practice on.
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But unlike Miami, Beverly Hills, Calif., and other star-crazed markets, Chicago is not a market that pays much of a premium for celebrity homes.
"We're a conservative, Midwest community so people aren't super-impressed with celebrity ownership," said Jennifer Ames, a leading broker in Chicago with Coldwell Banker. "And most people don't need a basketball court in their house."
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Jordan, who moved out last spring, now lives primarily in Florida and North Carolina.
There's also the issue of taste. The compound is huge, with over 56,000 square feet of living space. It's got nine bedrooms, 19 bathrooms and a "gentleman's retreat" with original doors from the Playboy mansion.
—By CNBC's Robert Frank. Follow him on Twitter @robtfrank.