Detroit real estate for $1 an inch

October 20, 2010 | Detroit

Real estate in Detroit. Many are jumping at the opportunity to snap up property and land in the city for various reasons. Real estate investors for future profits and urban farming maintain the highest profiles.

One investor, though, is focusing on the artistic opportunity to own a piece of Michigan’s largest city. Jerry Paffendorf, a San Francisco native, recently moved to Detroit  and started the Loveland Project, a real estate initiative that entails selling 1-inch squares of a property for $1 apiece.  The profit from the initiative will be split to benefit several projects in Detroit that cover a variety of areas such as farming, architectural rehabilitation and art.

In keeping with our October TEDx Detroit-themed posts, yes, Jerry is another Detroit (although a transplant) innovator and artist we learned about at the conference and one more individual in a long line of Detroiters doing good in the city; using creative methods to raise money for his artistic ventures.

Those buying in, dubbed inchvestors, can purchase as much or as little property as they desire. Like a real-life SimCity, the funds  allow purchasers a real-life, and virtual,  opportunity to create their ideal microhoods. You can virtually connect with your neighbors and, according to Jerry and his team, visit the real-life, physical, microhoods  around the city as more arise.

Thousands of past “inchvestors” own a  piece of the 10,000 square-inches of land at 8887 East Vernor Highway in Detroit, a property called Plymouth.  The project’s second venture, Hello World, does not yet have a physical location, but with over 12,000 of the 50,000 available square-inches already sold, it seems inchvestors are equally as enthusiastic.

Whether it amounts to a huge revival of investment real estate in Detroit or an interesting art project is a moot point. Our focus is on the Loveland Project as another step in showing the world the creative talents in Detroit and the ability of Detroiters to  reinvent (dare we say, ‘cultivate’?) what’s around them.

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