Skip to comments.A free-market utopia in the Detroit River?
Posted on 01/28/2013 11:16:18 AM PST by 1rudeboy
DETROIT, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A Detroit-area developer says he wants to turn Belle Isle, a 982-acre park in the Detroit River, into a free market commonwealth with its own laws and currency.
Rodney Lockwood visualizes the Commonwealth of Belle Isle as an semi-autonomous city-state of 35,000 people, The Detroit News reported. There would be no income tax, with revenue coming from a property tax based on land value, and its political status would be similar to that of Puerto Rico.
(Excerpt) Read more at upi.com ...
If they were serious they would build it some place else.
Never mind my tagline. I forgot to clear it.
Well, let’s see . . . “cheap” land, some semblence of infrastructure, close to a larger metropolitan area . . . .
1000 acre islands are not available just any place,.....
Actually one of the few intelligent things the Obama administration has approved of is opening a new patent office near the island on the waterfront.
If I had $1 billion, I’d buy Belle Isle in a heartbeat.
Too bad the politicos in Detroit aren’t smart or honest enough to take this guy up on the deal. It’s a good idea.
Er... for the people they are asking to invest, money is not the important issue...
“Frozen winters” sounds good to a group of people looking to build a nation of their own surrounded by water? Bad plan.
There are 1000 acre+ islands in many, many locations with mild climates. There are lots of large-scale commercial real estate agents that know of them off-hand.
Someone said it’s close to infrastructure.... I can’t help, but wonder if they read that it’s near Detroit?
So Detroit’s going to just give that stuff away on the cheap so a bunch of right-wing, low tax settlers can move next door? Oh, man....
Putting it near Detroit just means that it’s near an invading army of looters and criminals that can walk across the ice in the winter. Bad plan.
Always was a hoot.
And what would be the new currency? OBAMA BUCKS?
The city rejected the offer saying that the park should remain free to the public and of course the "public" was the residents of the city. Nobody from the suburbs steps foot on Belle Isle unless they're members of a reunion going on there......
People should see the ancient photos of Belle Isle during the 1940's and 50's, what a magnificient place it was.
As a side note, my grandfather was a sergeant with the DPOA and stationed on Belle Isle till he retired in 1962......
I have lots of fond memories of spending summer days on the island with my grandmother and grandfather..........
All those structures in that picture are now gone....
In 1969-72, my house was less than a mile south of Stoney Creek Park. I sailed on the lake often. My subdivision had a Rochester address at the time; it is now in Shelby Twp., IIRC.
Davd Newman-best talk host ever.
I do miss Mark Scott though. Imagine how he would tell the denizens of Disneyland on the Potomac to examine their premises because truth is truth.
My dad, after retiring from the Detroit police dept., was the chief ranger at Stoney from about 1980 - 1994.....
As a side note, one of the picnic areas there was the consumate gathering place for kids partying, drinking and dealing drugs. One of the first things my dad suggested to the park was to change the name of the area so that new kids coming in to the park couldn't find the party spot...........Of course that only lasted so long.
The Huron Clinton Metropolitan Authority (HCMP) does a great job on their Metro parks. Back in the 1990's, they offered to take over Belle Isle, which was horribly run down at the time, (and still is). The Detroit city council turned them down citing that the citizens of Detroit should not be forced to pay to access the island via daily or annual stickers.
You can't walk across the Detroit river on ice in the winter.........LOL!
Have you ever personally been on Belle Isle?
Are you familiar with the folks who live in the Grosse Pointes, Bloomfield Hills and other upscale areas around Detroit? Mega $$$$$ by folks who are already familiar with winter.
You only have to google the lake Michigan shoreline side of the state between Traverse City and Harbor Springs and look at the houses, especially between Charlevoix and Petoskey. Believe it or not, the majority of them are homes away from homes for the affluent who enjoy not only the summer sports but the winter recreation opportunities also.........
So winter is not a deterrent....
During prohibition “rum-runners” traveled across the frozen Detroit River by car to Canada and back with trunk loads of alcohol. Rum-running in Windsor became a very common practice. This led to the rise of mobsters such as the Purple Gang, who regularly traveled across the frozen river. I remember stories about some of those old trucks & cars and their loads of booze being recovered from the river bottom years after breaking through thin ice. My dad used to take my buddies and me ice fishing on the lower end of Lake St. Claire where it feeds into the Detroit River in the late 1940s.
Now with global warming and all, maybe the river doesn’t freeze any more (wink, wink).
“Rodney Lockwood visualizes the Commonwealth of Belle Isle as an semi-autonomous city-state of 35,000 people...”
Roughly 35 people per acre???
“majority of them are homes away from homes”
Yes, the affluent do that kind of thing. Like, have homes in places that are better than their home town....
So, considering the above, you’ve decided to invest a good bit of liquid principle into a 25-year project that will get you the stink eye from both your neighbors and your native country (who has a history of putting economic sanctions on new nations they disagree with, by the way).
You can do it anywhere and you’d prefer to do it in a place where other affluent people from across the nation will come to you. And you build it outside of.... Detroit.
Flame on, Brothers. It’s just not a great location.
(Even if the water doesn’t freeze every year as I so erringly wrote earlier.)
Not very often anymore. In fact, there wasn't even any ice on Lake St. Clair for ice fishing last year. Up until last week when we had our deep freeze, they weren't fishing anywhere either and what little ice in and around the marinas there was has likely melted by the warm weather and rain we've had for the past several days.....