Muhammad Ali‘s childhood home hit the market in August of 2012 and did not immediately catch anyone’s attention. It remained on the market at $70,000 for almost three years before anyone made an offer on it. Under its current contract, it will be purchased for only $50,000 by Las Vegas-based real estate investor, Jared Weiss. The businessman has been planning to restore Muhammad Ali’s childhood home for quite some time. Now, the investor has attracted Philadelphia-based lawyer George Bochetto. The lawyer reportedly bought 50 percent interest in the old home in Louisville, KY. But what exactly are they planning to do with such a tiny and run-down house?
Weiss and Bochetto’s joint venture will reportedly completely restore the house to the full functionality it had at the time Muhammad Ali, formerly known as Cassius Clay, lived there with his family. As the property appears to be in no condition to even enter safely, the project is expected to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the Associated Press. In a recent statement, Bochetto, 62, explained just how he and Weiss plan to pay for the restoration of Ali’s boyhood home.
“We’re going to be self-funded on this whole project. There’s not going to be any obstacles to our accomplishing what we want to do, at least no financial obstacles.”
Recently, questions have arisen in the media on whether the future new owners also had plans to turn the home into a cash cow as has been done with other celebrities childhood homes, like the Jackson family home in Gary, Indiana. However, while deeming the property historic, Bochetto denied expectations of making any money from the investment.
“We’re certainly not getting into this thing to try to run a tourist trap and make money. To me, that would be completely demeaning of the historic significance of this house.”
Unfortunately, current owner Lawrence Montgomery Sr. who remembers Ali as a boy, claims that the house has already attracted tourism in its current state. He believes that a restoration of the property could cause it to become a full-on tourism site. In a different statement, Bochetto did indicate that Muhammad Ali’s old home was of importance to American history and worthy of being a museum.
“This is a one-of-a-kind historic monument,every bit on a par with the Betsy Ross House and the homes of other iconic Americans. It ought to be preserved at a museum-level quality.”
Despite the denial that the investors will turn Muhammad Ali’s childhood home into a tourist attraction, it has be announced that after the restoration, the property will be open to the public. The little gray home in which Muhammad Ali spent his childhood is expected to be completed by the end of the year.