Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2007
LeBron's mansion: big home for big man
The 5.6-acre lot is 677 feet deep and is wedged among houses that average 3,209 square feet.
AKRON (AP) LeBron James' 35,440-square-foot house under construction in nearby Bath Township is shaping up as a castle fit for a king with a theater, bowling alley, casino and barbershop.
The house in a suburban location 20 miles south of Cleveland is due to be finished next year. It is being built on 5.6 acres purchased, along with an 11-bedroom house, in 2003 for $2.1 million.
The Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star and Akron native, whose stated goal is to be the world's first billionaire athlete, razed the house to clear the way for the new one.
A first-floor master suite, which includes a two-story walk-in closet, will be about 40 feet wide and 56 feet long bigger than half the houses in Bath Township.
The house has a dining hall, roughly 27 feet by 27 feet, a "great room" at 34 feet by 37 feet and a bigger, two-story "grand room," according to the Akron Beacon Journal, which reported on the blueprints.
The "family foyer" off the six-car garage near the elevator will be dwarfed by a "grand foyer" inside the front entrance with a sweeping, divided staircase leading to four second-story bedrooms.
An outer wall will feature a limestone sculpture a bas-relief of LeBron's head, wearing his trademark headband.
Stands out in neighborhood
The property is an oddly shaped tract wedged among lots that average 2.3 acres and houses that average 3,209 square feet. His property is 300 feet wide at the street and 677 feet deep.
The house already has begun to draw the curious.
"People who come to photograph it are disrespectful," said Tom Bader, one of nine immediate next-door neighbors.
"They park their car in the middle of the street with their doors open! And you're sitting behind them! All I wanna do is go home after a hard day's work."
Sometimes Bader must wait to turn into his driveway because gawkers have driven up, hoping for a better view of James' place.
"As far as LeBron the man goes, I think he's an outstanding individual," said Bader, a graduate of James' alma mater, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron.
"He's great for Cleveland. I'm proud to have him. I have no issues with LeBron James at all. The problem is the baggage that he unintentionally carries with him."
Bader has discouraged his children's dream that James might have them over to shoot hoops.
"I said, 'Honey, I don't think that's going to happen. Besides that, don't ever, ever invite LeBron over to our house to play ball because he's going to twist his ankle and I will have my house eternally egged."'
While waiting for the home to be finished, James splits his time between a huge apartment in downtown Cleveland and a relatively modest four-bedroom house in Medina County west of Akron.
He paid $580,000 for the house in 2005.
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