Industry News

Celebrities try to make a name in real estate

Big-name affiliation does not guarantee success

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You've seen them in films, professional sporting events, gossip magazines and television shows. Now you can own the home version. Celebrity branding is not just for apparel and perfume -- developers are using star power to sell condo projects and subdivisions. Actor George Clooney, basketball greats Shaquille O'Neal and Michael Jordan, Donald Trump and ex-wife Ivana, and domestic diva Martha Stewart have lent their names and fame to help sell residential real estate projects. In some cases celebrities receive money from developers who use their name and status for marketing purposes -- they may receive a free or discounted unit in exchange for plugging the project, for example -- while in other cases the celebrities are more financially involved in the projects and may have some design input, too. A string of high-profile, celebrity-affiliated high-rise condo projects bit the dust in Las Vegas over the past couple of years, though overall market conditions and a glut of competing proj...