Clockwise from top left, Park Chan-Ho’s building, Seo Jang-Hoon’s, Lee Seung-Yeop’s and Park Ji-Sung’s
Sports stars are making fortunes investing in real estate. Lee Seung-yeop of the Yomiuri Giants in the Japanese Baseball League recently bought a building worth W30 billion (US$1=W1,125) in Seongsu-dong, Seoul. Other top sports stars such as Park Ji-sung of the Manchester United in the English Premier League, Park Chan-ho of the Philadelphia Phillies in Major League Baseball, Seo Jang-hoon of the Incheon ET Land Elephants in the Korean Basketball League already own at least one building.
Park Chan-ho is the most successful real estate investor so far. Park, who won the jackpot by signing a five-year, US$65 million contract with the Texas Rangers in 2001, built Park’s Sports Group Building in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul in 2005. Currently, 12 companies are renting the building, including an exhibition center of Park-related baseball items, and the value of the building is appraised at W18 billion. Local estate agents say the value has at least doubled since its construction.
Seo, who has earned an average of W380 million a year over his professional career spanning 12 years, acquired a building near Yangjae Subway Station in southern Seoul for around W3 billion in a court auction in 2000. Estate agents say because the area is included in redevelopment plans, the land costs at least W100 million per 3.3 sq.m.
On the other hand, Park Ji-sung’s building in a new town in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province did not do so well. The area has not been fully developed, and due to the recession, the building may have made a loss so far. A staffer in charge of renting out office space in Park’s building said, “We are doing better than other buildings nearby because people think there is no way that Park can falter.”
Ahn Myung-sook, who leads the real estate team at Woori Bank, said, “Investment in buildings can bring you rent in the long-term and huge profits from fluctuating market prices if you are lucky. Quite a number of sports star prefer to invest in property to manage big sum of money they earned in a short period of time.”
Source by: The Chosunilbo