Property rehabber buys ex-NBA star’s former home
Alarge, once-luxurious south suburban home formerly owned by an NBA star appears to be getting new life.
Ken Norman, who played for the Los Angeles Clippers, previously owned the house located across the street from Homewood-Flossmoor High School. In the home’s heyday, Norman entertained guests who shot hoops on a lighted outdoor basketball court and swam in an indoor pool.
The home sat vacant for many years and had attracted curiosity seekers, urban explorers and trespassers who have published numerous videos online showing the decayed state of the property.
“Now abandoned, the mansion merely hints at its former glory,” the travel website Atlas Obscura wrote in September. “It sits along the edge of a public road, empty and being overgrown by nature. Grime and mold cling to the building’s interior. Paint peels from its decaying walls. The game room, which once held the indoor pool, is now littered with debris.”
I did some exploring ofmy own— not of the physical property, but of public records. I tracked down the person who recently bought the site, where workers have been removing debris and loading a dumpster parked on the driveway.
The property at 19020 S. Kedzie Ave. in unincorporated Rich Township was sold for $182,000 on Oct. 9, according to thewebsite of Cook County Recorder of Deeds Ed Moody.
That’s a far cry from the property’s peak value of $1.35 million in 1999, according to recorder of deeds records. Norman initially took out a $370,000 mortgage for the property in 1989, records show.
Norman earned more than $21 million over a 10-year career playing for the Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks, according to a 2015 Daily Southtown article about the property. Norman attended and played basketball at Chicago’s Crane High School and the University of Illinois.
He built the 7,152-squarefoot “dream house” around a smaller home he purchased in 1989 for $430,000, the Southtown reported. The fireplace from the previous homewas salvaged and became a centerpiece of the new one.
“Itwas truly luxurious,” Park Forest native and former NBA player Kendall Gill in the article. “At one time it had an indoor pool, which Ken took out and made into a game room. Outside, therewas a basketball court and a fountain, and the grounds were immaculate.”
Norman’s home had five
bedrooms and five bathrooms. Videos showed an interior decorated with lime green and lavender colors. They also showed a basement flooded to the ceiling with standingwater.
When the Southtown wrote about the home nearly four years ago, the property was in foreclosure and scheduled to be sold at auction. Ownership transferred from Norman to Deutsche Bank on Oct. 14, 2015, records show.
Property taxes have been paid on the privately owned, 88,905-square-foot lot, according to thewebsite of Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas. In 2017, $43,066 in real estate taxes were “paid in full,” according to treasurer records.
The tax rate for the property is 14.82 percent. The first installment of 2018 property taxes— estimated at about half the amount owed for the year — is $23,686, according to the treasurer.
As one would imagine, recent construction activity at such a highly visible location has sparked a great deal of community interest. In addition to its proximity to the high school, the house is located next to a CVS pharmacy and the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District’s Coyote Run golf course.
The purchaser of the property in October was listed as Frankfort-based For His Glory LLC, records show. A search of Illinois secretary of state’s office records showed the company’s principal agent as Randy L. Pertler.
I contacted Pertler, who declined to talk about the project at this time but said he might be willing to do so in a month or so.
“There are a lot of decisions that need to be made regarding the property and our plans for it,” Pertler said in an email response.
In his email, Pertler acknowledged he has published several videos on YouTube showing his involvement in property rehab projects completed by For His Glory. Pertler has taken viewers on tours of homes in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood, Evergreen Park and Tinley Park and highlighted the results of makeovers as homes were ready for listing.
The work looks remarkable, with installations of hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and other attractive features. At one home, he showed off a previously unused attic space thatwas converted into two spacious bedrooms and a bathroom.
“This is what we call a gut rehab,” he says in a video published in August. “Thiswas all enclosed. We opened this all up, with this nice railing here,” he narrated as the camera panned toward an impressivelooking staircase overlooking a foyer.
“Look through these stairs,” he says in the video. “This is one of our ‘wow’ factors. We try to do seven wow factors, and this is one of them right here.”
Workers have been removing debris and loading a dumpster at the home at 19020 S. Kedzie Ave. in unincorporated Rich Township. The property previously owned by retired NBA star Ken Norman recently sold for $182,000.