updated 9/20/2006 5:18:41 PM ET 2006-09-20T21:18:41

There’s a new player in the real estate game. He’s big. He’s bad. He’s got a famous number. And, he’s got some cash to throw down. From the basketball court to the construction site, Shaquille O’Neal is taking his game downtown

The Miami Heat start recently announced the formation of The O’Neal Group, a real estate and development company seeking out partnerships and joint ventures.

“With the formation of the O’Neal Group, we can offer people a better way of living”, said O’Neal.

The 7-foot-1 center who won his fourth NBA championship in June is now attached to real estate projects he says are worth $80 million. Having previously been involved with communities in Colorado and New Jersey. But, the focus is now on his home turf. O’Neal will first partner with MDM Development Group in downtown Miami, which will be home to a billion dollar mixed-use development.

The project includes various residential units, an office tower, a luxury hotel, an entertainment complex, and of course, a 24-hour fitness Shaq Ultra Sport Gym.

“I’ve been in it for a while and have just been silent. Now with the formalization of the O’Neal Group, people will now know we’re major players in the game”, said O’Neal.

Facts and figures were not discussed, but all financial institutions stated the project took a significant financial investment by O’Neal. He hopes to acquire other partners to develop properties in Lost Angeles, Louisiana, and his former home state of New Jersey.

“My favorite athlete in the world is Dave Bing. Not for what he did not for what he did on the basketball court, but for what he did with the steel industries after the game”, said O’Neal.

© 2012 CNBC, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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