Prop­erty re­hab­ber buys ex-NBA star’s for­mer home

Daily Southtown (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - Ted Slowik

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.

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