Sunday, March 9 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-03-10 00:35:58 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --- Louisville head football coach Bobby Petrino held a news conference before the Louisville-UConn men's basketball game Saturday to preview the start of spring football. The CardinalsMore >>
Petrino talked quarterback competition and the arrest of an incoming freshman, among other topics...More >>
Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Las Vegas investor has purchased the boyhood home of Louisville boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
In recent years, the home at 3302 Grand Avenue had just about become the eyesore next door.
"Used to be a tree right there and that tree did most of the damage to the house," says neighbor Ron Butler.
So when the for sale sign went up, you wouldn't expect much interest...let alone a bidding war. However, that's exactly what happened. "His whole motivating for buying this is he's just a big Ali fan," says Dave Lambrechts, Realtor.
Louisville realtor Dave Lambrechts brokered the deal for Las Vegas investor Jared Weiss to purchase the childhood home of boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Weiss says, "As soon as I saw it...I said I want it. I want to buy that property."
Dave Lambrechts says, "He said, you know, go make this happen."
"I felt like the historical value was so important and I wanted to make sure that the house was preserved and kept for generations for people around the world to see it," says Weiss.
But despite the for sale sign, buying the home wasn't easy.
Lambrechts says, "It was pretty tough getting in touch with the owner. He wasn't ready he just wasn't ready for the bombardment of phone calls that he got."
The asking price was 50-thousand dollars; Weiss paid more. "It actually came down to us and another group of people and it ended up with a bidding war and that's why we ended up at the prices of 70-thousand verses the 50 thousand which was his initial asking price," says Lambrechts.
The home is in pretty bad shape, but it's still a big attraction...especially now that a state marker is in place.
"When they put the marker up, you had a couple of tour buses come through here and took pictures...got out of the bus and took pictures...but it happens all the time, you just never know," says Butler.
Weiss has several ideas for the home, but renting it out isn't one of them.
Lambrechts says, "No...no...not at all. That is the one thing he was like...we can not put renters in there."
Local officials have said Louisville Metro wants to help make sure the house is preserved, but they have not specifically committed to investing city funds.
"It's a little early to talk about that, but we want to make sure it falls into the right hands and something good happens with that home," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer late last month.
Neighbors say the house is already a tourist attraction. Since a historic marker was placed in May, visitors often come by to take pictures and ask questions.