Condos for Car Nuts, or, the $100k+ Man Cave

Monday, June 20, 2016
Posted in category Boom-Bubble Phenomenon

Surely it’s ironic that a closed General Motors assembly plant in Pontiac, Michigan would become the new home to a “car aficionado playground,” or what is known as the M1 Car Condo project. To quote an article from MLive:

DETROIT – There are many places where people meet in Metro Detroit to proudly display their cars and trucks, or just gawk at other people’s, or both.

But Brad Oleshanksy said there are few if any dedicated spots in Southeast Michigan with a closed track, private garages and public retail all in one setting.

That changes this summer when Oleshansky’s M1 Concourse opens on 87 acres of land in Pontiac.

The $50 million project, in the making since 2013, has already had 8,000 tons of asphalt laid for its 1.5-mile track, and will open in time for Woodward Dream Cruise in August, with some events planned before then.

This project, called M1 Concourse, is an 87-acre “car enthusiast destination” that is a race track lined with nearly 300 car-condos, or private garages, ranging in price from $105k to $1M. These are deemed the “ultimate man caves.” Upcoming phases call for all the usual trappings of these bubble-economy, luxury undertakings: event space, a car-themed restaurant, and plans for extensive retail and commercial space into the year 2018. (We’ll see how that goes.)

This whole venture is described as a glorious “coming together” of the public and private sector with public funds being snatched to pay for cleaning up and redeveloping the site, and providing infrastructure.

Thus developers here descended upon mounds of cheap credit to borrow and build a luxury project, and they merged these borrowed monies with funds swindled from taxpayers via congressional dictates under the guise of “revitalizing Pontiac.” Pontiac is a city that has long been dead as a doornail, largely empty and abandoned, including empty auto plants and a shoddy downtown. The only renovations in this city have come from an economy bubbling with excess credit and Federal Reserve-gifted bargain interest rates. There is no genuine grass roots interest or demographic stability to support a project of this type, which is why it became infused with the promises of politicians and taxpayer dollars.

How long this multi-million dollar man cave will stay afloat will depend on how quickly the next Meltdown will bear down upon us. Perhaps it can join the Pontiac Silverdome one day in the Pontiac graveyard for formerly fabulous projects. Thanks to James Nellis for the tip. Follow me on Twitter @karendecoster.

 

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