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Brady's big score

Condo sales give quarterback a free unit for himself

Tom Brady converted this Beacon Street town house to four condos and sold three of them. Tom Brady converted this Beacon Street town house to four condos and sold three of them. (David L. Ryan/Globe Staff)
By Kimberly Blanton
Globe Staff / September 5, 2008
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The superstar quarterback with the supermodel girlfriend has made a super-savvy real estate deal.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady earned back more than he paid two years ago for a building in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood by renovating three condominiums and selling them - and, as a bonus, he kept the top two floors, with a panoramic view of the Charles River, for himself.

Brady purchased the Beacon Street building in May 2006, trading up from a modest condo at Marina Bay in Quincy that lacked water views. He converted the Back Bay town house into four condominiums and closed his third condo sale last week to a South American tycoon. That transaction brings his total pro ceeds to $7.95 million - $1.71 million more than he paid for the entire building, according to public deed records.

The celebrity quarterback sold the condos for premium prices in the same league as Back Bay properties such as The Clarendon, a luxury high-rise under construction nearby. But he probably didn't make a profit - an $11.5 million mortgage he obtained in 2007 indicates he spent big money gut-renovating the building and outfitting his primary residence with triple-plated, sound-proof glass and an interior by Frank Nicholson, who also designed the posh hotel Mandarin Oriental, Boston, according to people close to Brady who did not want to discuss his personal matters publicly. (Brady has paid down an undisclosed portion of the loan, records show.)

In a sense, said Boston real estate agent John Keith, Brady "was able to break even on the sales and get a condo for free. He did pretty well."

Another millionaire sports celebrity might simply buy a condo, decorate it, and move in. But Brady, a three-time Super Bowl winner, went to a lot of trouble to put together a deal to his benefit. Sports experts and real estate agents said the deal smacks of what one might expect of a quarterback with a $22.5 million, three-year NFL contract and multimillion-dollar sponsorships with companies like Nike, Movado watches, and Stetson cologne.

"He's a smart businessman" with "real estate savvy and sophisticated tastes," said Tracy Campion, a Back Bay agent to the rich and famous who listed Brady's Beacon Street condos.

Brady's assistant, Will McDonough, declined to comment.

A Chicago sports marketer, Marc Ganis, said football players have short careers and must carefully manage their money so they aren't broke when they walk off the field for the final time. That might be particularly challenging for Brady, a "crossover celebrity" whose fans - and the general public - expect him to live an expensive lifestyle with his Brazilian supermodel girlfriend, Gisele Bundchen.

"He is one of the most visible off-the-field players in NFL history" and is "expected to have a certain lifestyle, a certain way of traveling, certain homes," said Ganis, president of SportsCorp. Ltd.

Brady's real estate deal, he said, indicates the quarterback "has taken control of his financial future."

Brady is in the midst of reshuffling his real estate portfolio. TMZ.com, a celebrity news website, reported the quarterback paid $11 million for an empty lot - "a plot of dirt" - near California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles; Brady may build a mansion there for Bundchen.

Meanwhile, the New York press is reporting that Brady and Bundchen are each trying to sell their Manhattan apartments. Brady's 3,000-square-foot unit in the Time Warner Center in Midtown is on the market for $19 million.

Brady also has invested in a New York hedge fund.

The buyer for all three of Brady's condos in Boston, according to public records, was Andronico Luksic, the vice chairman of Banco de Chile and a member of one of Argentina's wealthiest business families. Boston representatives for Luksic did not return calls seeking comment.

Agents say Luksic's decision to buy the properties probably had little to do with the fact they were being sold by a sports star and more to do with location and extensive renovations. The building also has eight parking spaces and a doorman.

For a buyer in that league, Keith said, living below Brady is not a big selling point. "There are negatives to being in a celebrity building," he said.

Kimberly Blanton can be reached at blanton@globe.com.

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