Pundits have continued to research the factors informing the decisions of celebrities to invest in the real estate sector. For some time, the grandiose dream of the Senegalese-American singer, Akon to invest a whopping $6billion in a Smart City in his home country, Senegal called ‘Akon City’ has enjoyed an unprecedented mention in the media.
The Senegalese-American music sensation made his mark with megahits like ‘Smack that’ and ‘Lonely’; his voice and style of music, amongst other things, held listeners and fans across the globe spellbound in 2006; topping the Billboard charts alongside Shakira, Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, and more.
According to reports, the 2,000-acre futuristic metropolis would include a luxury resort, condos, offices, a hospital, stadium, and an artificial-intelligence data center; the project is to be co-funded by a Kenyan entrepreneur.
Akon had earlier disclosed the city would empower Africa’s youth, but only a few details have been released on the community involvement and development in Akon City, which has so far employed the expertise of a Los Angeles construction firm, and an architect from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Akon’s Investment and Net Worth
In 2020, another report stated that although Akon’s music may no longer be the thrill for teenage girls, the singer’s relevance has advanced from what it used to be; he pivoted from churning out hip-hop and R&B hits to carving out a new identity for himself as a tech entrepreneur in Africa. He kicked off his achievements with the launch of his solar-power company, following closely with his cryptocurrency, and then the acquisition of a diamond mine in South Africa. So far, he has transcended the boundaries of hip-hop to become one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry; currently, his net worth stands at $80million.
The 985 feet Akon Tower
Akon City is slated to be built on the Senegalese coastline about 62 miles south of Dakar and 35 miles from Dakar’s new $575 million international airports.
Senegal, which has been tagged West Africa’s most stable democracy, boasts 330 miles of Atlantic coastline. About 70% of its nearly 16 million people live in rural areas, while Dakar, Senegal’s capital, is home to about 3.1 million people.
Akon’s proposed city is slated to be built about 62 miles from Senegal’s capital; in Dakar, the tallest building stands at 250ft. On the other hand, Akon Tower, the proposed masterpiece of Akon City would stand at nearly 985 ft., making it the tallest building in Senegal. The highway from the capital to Akon’s planned metropolis runs right along the coast at times and veers inland at others, passing through a smattering of villages.
Why Celebrities Invest in Real Estate
Real estate is a capital intensive money-spinning sector, so where else would these athletes, music superstars, and A-list celebrities rather put their lump sum earnings?
According to realtymogul.com, these personalities are well informed that real estate investment is fixed, and the most secure way of building long-term wealth; from buying and selling, to launching real estate businesses, Hollywood’s hottest are making bank!
Factors that Lure Celebrities to Exclusive Resorts and Homes
A report said some areas are relatively attractive to celebrities due to their compatibility with the type of life they need to live. Some seek a calm ambience, others want a vibrant atmosphere, and some would appreciate a fusion of both. Despite the varying preferences, the common phenomenon is the need for privacy and personal space, which readily explains why most celebrities are drawn to Star Island in Miami Beach.
Famous Celebrities Making a Fortune in Real Estate
Real estate consistently increases in value over time and outperforms other investments. Plus, it isn’t as vulnerable to short-term fluctuations as the stock market. Here is a list of 10 celebrities at the top of their real estate game.
Roger Staubach, known as “Captain Comeback” to NFL fans, an MVP winner, and Super Bowl Champion in the NFL. Despite his talents, Staubach didn’t make his millions in football. He developed a passion for real estate as his company, The Staubach Company, helped tenants find an office, retail, and industrial space for over 30 years. Its’ worth was about $640 million at the time it was sold to Jones Lang LaSalle.
Others are Emmitt Smith, a record-breaker who earned titles, and won multiple Super Bowl championships; Comedian Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, actress Portia De Rossi, are two of the biggest players in the real estate game. They purchased the $40 million Brody House and sold it for a profit of $15 million; Grey’s Anatomy’s McDreamy made a McFortune when he sold his Malibu home known as the Tin House. He bought the home for $7 million and sold it for $15 million; and Jennifer Aniston bought her midcentury Beverly Hills mansion for $13.5 million. She overhauled the property, featured the masterpiece in Architectural Digest, and sold it for $35million.
Celebrity millionaires from Hollywood who also invest in real estate are Leonardo DiCaprio, the Titanic-Great Gatsby-Wolf of Wall Street star; Arnold Schwarzenegger financed his career as an actor by investing wisely into real estate; Brad Pitt and his ex-wife Angelina Jolie were (and kind of still are) a real estate power couple. Together, they own the impressive Château Miraval in France worth €45 million (about $67 million).
Others include 23-year-old Kylie Jenner from the Kardashian-Jenner clan, known for their reality TV show Keeping Up with the Kardashians; Robert De Niro, the Godfather-Casino actor invested his money in commercial real estate. He owns a private real estate in New York and London; and Tom Ford, a multi-talented fashion designer, excelled as a film director and eight-figure real estate investor.
Akon Investing Beyond $80m Earning
Born in Missouri as ‘Aliuame Badara Thiam’, Akon spent most of his childhood in Senegal before his family moved to New Jersey when he was 11. At 30-years-old, he busted the American music scene with his 2004 single “Locked Up” which sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.
In 2011, he ranked ninth on Forbes’ list of hip-hop’s top 20 earners and brought in an estimated $13 million. In 2018, BBC estimated his net worth was about $80 million.
Scenic views are one of the many aspects that influence the phrases that can be used to describe the attractiveness of this beautiful island. It is endowed with an incredible green environment that creates breathtaking scenery when combined with the beautiful blue water surrounding it. The draw of this island is not only based on the aesthetic appeal, but it is also influenced by the beautiful features that make up the homes.
He told TMZ, “We plan to franchise the city.”
The 2,000-acre waterfront oasis is being designed to serve as a hub for business and tourism, and the renderings are the stuff of science fiction. Akon City’s official website depicts a futuristic metropolis filled with gleaming twisting skyscrapers and palm trees. There are plans for residents to be able to use ‘Akon’ to pay for the tram, basic utilities, business licenses, and even their taxes.
And if the Singer achieves his dream, this will be the first of several more Akon-branded smart cities throughout Africa.
According to Business Insider: “What we found is that Akon is helming a $6 billion project that teeters largely on a single named investor’s backing one who has a history of lawsuits on file regarding unpaid debts. And while several of the most prominent people involved in the city’s development including Akon tout the city as a future job generator for locals, none were able to lay out a plan for how exactly locals would benefit from the construction of this gleaming giant.
Business Insider added “We tried to answer the basic and still unanswered question that could overthrow Akon’s proposed utopia: Is it possible, or will it become yet another abandoned plan in Africa’s long string of failed smart cities?”