Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My own private Singapore

I've heard a lot of ideas to revitalize Detroit but none so audacious as this:
If these ventures sound idealistic, outrageous, and awesome, they pale in comparison to the scale and ambition of a project conceived by real estate developer Rod Lockwood. He has outlined plans to buy Belle Isle, a 982-acre public island park in the Detroit River, and transform it into an independent commonwealth with its own laws, regulations, and taxes (or lack thereof). Investors would buy the island from the city for $1 billion and then sell lifetime citizenship for $300,000. The extra $1 billion would help the city pay off its debts, and the lax regulations and low taxes would act as a magnet for investment, says Lockwood.
"We would expect a quarter of a trillion dollars in capital would be brought onto the island," says Lockwood. "Detroit would have its own Singapore in its backyard."
This reminds me of North Korea's little capitalist outpost.  Very Elysium-esque.

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