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Former Hawks lottery pick Josh Childress developing apartments in Las Vegas

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The Stanford graduate details the next stage of his career and explains what led to departure to Greece in 2008 on recent podcast.

NBL Grand Final: Game 4 - Adelaide v Melbourne Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images

The Raiders, Wayne Newton and Josh Childress.

Childress, the former Atlanta Hawks lottery pick, is reportedly developing an apartment complex in Las Vegas, according to CloseUp360. The complex is The Gramercy through his company Landspire Group. Childress’ goal is to “reinvigorate the local economy and bring their communities closer together,” the report read.

Buying the property was a response to the “millennial flight” that is taking place on the west coast during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many young professionals are leaving cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco to live in more affordable places like Nevada and Arizona, as Childress highlighted in an August interview with the “Pilot Boys” podcast.

Childress has often described himself as someone who has liked to “go against the grain” in previous interviews throughout the years. In 2008, he made the controversial decision to sign with the Greek club Olympiacos at the age of 25.

The deal was worth $20 million for three years, which at the time made him the highest-paid basketball player outside the NBA in the world. Included in the deal, the club took care of his housing, Volvo, chef and Greek taxes. He would take home $6 million in his first season, about twice as much as he would’ve gotten from the NBA.

“I get paid double, my role increases, I have no expenses and I move to a nice city?” Childress said in a 2008 interview with the New York Times. “How many guys wouldn’t do that, regardless if you’re a lawyer or a doctor? In a business sense, if I were to tell people that I passed on that deal, I would be stupid. That would be the next headline: Josh Childress Shouldn’t Have Gone to Stanford. He’s an Idiot.”

He chose the Greek club over interested franchises like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs.

On the “Pilot Boys,” Childress revealed in the summer of 2008, new Hawks general manager Rick Sund told him to explore other options throughout the league as a restricted free agent. Childress’ agents worked to get other offers, and he had two sign-and-trade deals on the table. Sund didn’t want to go the sign-and-trade route.

“Here I am, I played four years. The Hawks had made it to the playoffs for the first time in [10] years, there was a buzz in the city, excitement and all that,” Childress said on the podcast. “I was a part of that corps group that had created this turnaround, and then this guy comes in and acts like I’m nothing, right? So then to that point, I did go out and said ‘ok, well I am going to go out and explore offers.’”

Once he came back to the Hawks with his Greek offer, Childress said there was a little push back, and he didn’t think the Hawks believed he was going to do it. Then, he signed the deal.

A couple of years later, he returned to the NBA but struggled to find a steady spot on a roster.

Childress then turned to business.

He opened a laundromat in southern California.

“I purchased it not anticipating to go play again,” Childress told Grit Media in 2015. “If I was going to play, I was hoping to play in the NBA and stuff like that. I signed to play in Australia, so now I have to figure out this transition period.”

Now, the entrepreneur has found a calling in real estate.

He is currently working on a master’s degree in real estate through an NBA-funded program, he told the “Pilot Boys.”

“The driver in trying this to be my next phase was the impact it has on everyone,” Childress said on the “Pilot Boys.” “Everybody needs a place to live. Businesses need a place to operate. E-commerce and market places need physical spaces to house their goods. Landspire Group, we’re focused on under-resourced communities.”

In addition to the Las Vegas apartments, the group is working on a project that was recently approved in Compton, where Childress is from.

“The one thing we come into these areas with is a good understanding of the area and of the people who live there, having been from there,” Childress said on the “Pilot Boys.” “Speaking about Compton specifically, I understand the people that are living there have either been dealt a bad hand, have had some generational or family issues, maybe there’s a lack of education from some of the family members. For us, it’s about, ‘how can we come in here, develop a property that the people and the city can be proud of, that is underpaying by programming to help the younger generation and the older adults with some upper mobility.”

While not divulging his company’s entire plan, he said the group is looking at options like job training and tutoring for members of those communities to prevent ultimately out-pricing those members.

“There’s a large Black-white wealth gap in this country that’s rooted in systematic racism over the last 150-200 years,” Childress said on the podcast. “How can we create projects where the community members at large can be equity holders of the deal? So, they go along the ride with us. So then when we sell, they then see a chunk of change that can roll over into home ownership, which then allows them to start creating some wealth for themselves and their families.”

Childress’ business affairs have allowed him to go in with former Hawk Al Harrington and former NBA All-Star Zach Randolph to buy an ownership in SouthEast Melbourne Phoenix in 2019. It is the only Black and minority-owned sports team in Australia. For inquiring minds, LaMelo Ball and his manager’s, also another former Hawk Jermaine Jackson, bid to buy the Illawarra Hawks failed in June, as reported by Yahoo! Sports. Childress was also a seed stage investor in Viola, the largest Black-owned cannabis company.

“Over my career, I’ve always been intrigued and involved with business,” Childress said on the “Pilot Boys.” “That started in my Stanford days. All the millionaires and billionaires I met on campus. Like ‘what do you do? How are you able to afford that house?’ That was always intriguing to me.”