Would You Be Willing to Invest in a Corporation to Buy Haughton Elevator Property?

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I came up with this idea from a previous post about the auto parts yard that might be started on Spencer Street. I would say that capitalization would have to be $400,000 (more even if we wanted to get a high-tech manufacturer to build there). Maybe shares would sell at $25 (or less) to start with. This would allow those who had the money to buy more, and those who didn't to at least get a taste of "local" capitalism. A board of governors would have to be elected. Probably the largest stockholders.

You might want to limit participation (if possible) to people with a geographical area of Detroit, Arlington, the Anthony Wayne Trail (or maybe even Broadway), and Western Avenue. Maybe we would want to build a neighborhood park (with a swimming pool for the kids), or a high-tech manufacturing plant. Something that the "stockholders" could agree on. Ir's an interesting idea (to me) rather than complaining about "the city government" or "the bum's rush for small business".

Old South End Broadway

The idealistic me says "sure!" The practical me starts asking all kinds of questions...leading to a 'it depends' answer.

It's a nice concept. But without a firm business plan, strong/experienced leadership (in the field of business chosen), estimates of ROI, I don't believe that many would be able to actually fork over any money...

But I'd certainly encourage further exploration of the idea!

Maggie, like your writing. Yes, "an interesting idea". I don't have the expertise, but several others on this site seem to be able to deal in such matters. I don't know if anyone has the expertise that lives in this area, and would be willing to do this.

Personally, I might take a flyer with $300-400. Even if it went south it might be an interesting gamble. I have my pension, and my savings are allocated to different areas (a mutual fund, some U.S. bonds, a house I rent) so I could afford to gamble that much. But finding someone with the expertise to do the work before the property is sold is the problem. This was just an idea to separate the "talkers" from the "doers". But, like you write, the idea of business is to do the planning well in advance.
Or else have the independent means to "strike while the iron is hot".

But that is why a "junk yard" (no matter how unpalatable to the neighbors) might be a better choice than an empty field.

Old South End Broadway

You're actually describing localized venture capital. Several cities and geographic areas have then to spur development in their area. Basically, it would be setup so that investors from Toledo, and anywhere in the world, would buy shares of the venture capital fund. The fund would be required to only invest in companies that have a certain level of investment in Greater Toledo or Northwest Ohio (how you define the borders is up to the people starting this fund). A slightly tweaked version of your idea definitely works and is implemented around the country.

Venture capital is a high risk/high reward investment in companies. VC invests in small upstart companies with little more than a newly development product and a semblance of a business plan. These companies often develop out of university patents.

For example, right now at UT's College of Medicine there is a product that has been developed that measures blood glucose by looking into someone's eye measuring blood from a pin-prick in the finger. The obvious benefit for diabetics is that there won't be any sore fingers from having to poke your finger three times a day. However, to mass produce this product and market it appropriately is going to take an enormous amount of capital investment by someone up front (let's say $25 million). So a venture capital fund will step in and invest that $25 million in exchange for a certain number of shares in the company. The company can then use that $25 million to develop the product. Since it's a completely new product that hasn't been tested in the marketplace this is an extrememly risky investment. However, by the same token, if this product takes off and can capture just 10% of the market share for blood glucose devices then the financial returns for the investors are many, many times their initial investment. A localized venutre capital fund (like you describe) isn't in it just for return on investment. They're also in it for the local benefits to the economy and city. A successful startup company like this might creat 500 jobs over the course of 5 years which would obviously be benficial to the area's larger economy.

There was a company called the Westhaven Group, I think, that bought and sold properties locally. They got in some kind of trouble, and I haven't heard much since. They used to advertise on the tv, and radio.

Old South End Broadway

your elevator doesn't go all the way to the top Mr. OldSouthEndBrady...if you know what I mean.

OldSouthEndBrdy you are right. My neighbor was one of the investors in Westhaven. They did indeed buy properties like this along with residential property and many times did improvements to flip. They also sold homes at astronomical interest rates on home contracts with a large down payment. They sold some houses many times.

The receivers (Ohio Secretary of Commerce shut them down in Nov. '05 and a local judge here appointed receivers) are now auctioning the properties off that they can. There have been three or four thus far. I went to one, the investors had 55k in the residence, empty, and it brought 27k from an out of town investor that I believe decided not to take it after all. He would have lost his 3k down if he did that.

Judge Zmuda has the case as of the beginning of the year. I went to his first hearing and he talked to the atty's on all sides about civil process and missed deadlines and the like. I haven't heard a peep out of this since then. That was Jan.

Just make sure you aren't using other people's money by selling securities without a license :-) That's what did Westhaven in.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

not vote, because the question as posed was without sufficient detail.

I do like the idea however, of COSI, the Toledo Zoo and an I-Max theater operator forming a joint venture and developing a common park-like venue.

Junk cars and car parts would not be my first choice of the property.

Now, I'll go back and vote in favor of private investment ;-)

Hooda Thunkit

Inspired! There is always a remedy for political inaction. It's called the power of the people.

because I like people who think outside the box.



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