Boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s widow, Lonnie Ali, on Dec. 21 sold the couple’s 81-acre estate on the St. Joseph River in southwest Michigan for $2.5 million.

While a South Side resident in the mid-1970s, Ali bought the estate for a reported $400,000, and although he later moved to Los Angeles and then to Arizona, he continued to use the estate as a retreat.

The estate, located on a bend in the river in Berrien Springs, Mich., has a four-bedroom, 3,960-square-foot, Cape Cod-style main house and seven other buildings on the property, including a carriage house, a combined office and gym building with a boxing ring, a bath house, two climate-controlled garages and two original barns.

Lonnie Ali, who now lives in Arizona, first listed the estate in June for $2.895 million. She technically was asking $2,895,037, which was an overly specific number that was a nod to Ali’s 37 knockouts in his career.

Inside the estate of the late Muhammad Ali
Inside the estate of the late Muhammad Ali
Over the past six months, listing agent Tim Mitchell of Cressy & Everett Real Estate told Elite Street, there was no shortage of interest in the property, including from a car collector in Barrington and possible buyers from Indonesia and Dubai.

Ultimately, however, the buyer was the New York City-based Turken Foundation, a nonprofit educational foundation that was established in 2014 by Turkey’s two major foundations.

“I think the buyers kind of fell in love with the location and the nostalgia,” Mitchell said. “I don’t know that they know yet what they’re going to do with it.

“Lonnie Ali was one of the best sellers I ever worked with, and she was very happy with the outcome, and I was, too.”

Other features on the property include fully a mile of river frontage, a full-sport basketball court, an outdoor kitchen with appliances and grills under a barreled rooftop, a pergola, a gazebo, a fire pit, gardens and a waterfall rock garden.

Source: Bob Goldsborough