Tony Alleyne, 58, is a former professional DJ but is better known as the Trekkie who transformed his 500-square-foot flat in Hinckley, England, to look like the starships from “Star Trek.”
Now, he’s facing the reality that he must boldly go in search of his next home. He’s been separated from his wife since 1994, and in the divorce proceedings, a court ruled that his estranged wife has the right to sell the apartment. According to The Sun tabloid, Georgina Alleyne has been paying the mortgage since the couple separated, and intends to sell it as a conventional property. Tony Alleyne has been trying to sell the apartment in its unconventional form for years. It was on the market for $1.7 million in 2003 and again on eBay in 2007 for about $850,000, but it didn’t sell.
However, while Tony Alleyne is dismayed, he says: “There may be a second option. She wants to dismantle the place in August or September, but there’s an option to maybe buy her out.”
So while the apartment could still be rescued in its “Star Trek” form, it probably won’t be Tony Alleyne doing the buying. He filed for bankruptcy in 2006 after racking up £166,000 ($266,000 at current exchange rates) in credit-card debt and loans to start an interior design business. He told CNBC by telephone from Leicestershire that he expects to remain in bankruptcy proceedings until 2013.
Alleyne began his work toward the end of 1997 with a re-creation of the transporter styled after the one on the U.S.S. Enterprise in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” After that, he began modeling the apartment more in the style of the darker-palette U.S.S. Voyager as seen in “Star Trek: Voyager.”
“I am still working on it, trying to keep positive,” he told CNBC. His current project is an interface for an overhead light-dimming unit, replacing the fluttering fluorescent tubes with LEDs. He said the LEDs were a comp in exchange for his promotion of the company.
How much has the conversion cost altogether? It’s difficult to put a number on it, he says. “You could say I spent £5,000 ($7,800) in materials, but if you had to pay somebody to do this over that period of time, an engineer, designer, contractor, electrician, all the tradesmen, you’d be looking at quite a lot of money — hundreds of thousands of pounds. But because I did all the work myself, I didn’t put a price on it.”
Also included in the apartment are a theme-appropriate bathroom and a simplified galley (the latter, pictured here, is equipped with only a concealed microwave for cooking), and a brig based on the one in “Star Trek: Voyager.”
There is no sofa, just seating where four or five people can sit bolt upright. There is no proper bed, as Alleyne has slept on the floor on doctors’ orders following a sciatica diagnosis. “Instead of ‘Wow that’s going to cure me,’ I thought, ‘Great, I can build something in that area.’” That area is now occupied by the transporter, a main feature of the apartment.