What Do I Get For My $10,000 Investment?
The Investors are the owners of the Project
They own an investment share commensurate with the amount invested, and stand to profit as future building lots are sold. If the Project doesn’t make its $2,000,000 goal, then the investor is out absolutely nothing. They’ve simply made a non-legally binding investment pledge in support of a good cause.If the Project does make its goal, then they are an investor in a major real estate development that has already shown that it has potential for profitability, simply based on the fact that it was able to “pre-sell” lots to 200 or so households before it even breaks ground. Though it is impossible and probably not legal to make projections regarding potential investor return, some may consider this an excellent risk/reward ratio.
The Investors receive a building lot
A building lot of virtually any size they need for construction of a residence and/or business. Our building design code will mandate that the footprint of the structure built on the lot comes right to the edge of the lot line (zero lot line zoning) on the front and sides, so this makes for an intrinsic limitation on the lot size that our investors will have. Like the signs at all you can eat buffets. “Take all you want, but eat all you take!”
The Investors receive four bonus building lots
The Investors receive four bonus building lots. These bonus lots come with a restriction: They can be conveyed in any way they want – sell or give – to anyone that is a non-homeowner at time of the investment pledge. This is primarily designed as a means of adding value for the original investors, which many will use to grant building lots to children or other relatives. A number of our current investors have invested in the Project for the primary reason of providing future building lots to their children or grandchildren at what works out to a cost of $2,000 per unimproved building lot. A wonderful legacy for the next generation.
The Investors receive a parking or garage lot
Each building lot and each of the four bonus lots will come with sufficient space for vehicle parking in the perimeter parking zone. Here, they may opt to construct a garage and/or some other sort of remote storage. A simple design code will insure that the parking zone is built out in a tasteful and attractive manner.
The Investors receive land in the green belt
The Investors receive land in the green belt. The project plan calls for an encircling green zone of about 375 acres. Some portion of this will be used for perimeter parking and some will be preserved for parks and recreation. Some percentage will be set aside to be divided into many small allotment style garden plots for use of all future residents, either leased or owned outright. There are various options at this point on the division of the remainder of the greenbelt but a land plot of indeterminate size will be made available to each of the original investors. The greenbelt will be protected by agricultural/conservation easements.
What about infrastructure costs?
Infrastructure in Phases
It’s important to note that the investor receives an unimproved building lot for their investment. For example:
Let’s suppose that of the initial $2,000,000 needed to break ground, $750,000 goes for Phase 1 infrastructure (streets, water and waste disposal, primarily) for 50 units. When the investor is ready to take actual possession of the lot and build on it, he/she would have to pay $15,000 ($750,000 / 50) which will go into a reserve to pay for Phase 2 infrastructure. We don’t have firm figures at this point on infrastructure costs, number of units in a phase, or what specific type(s) of infrastructure we will utilize, but are intent on using the most “sustainable” methods of water and waste disposal that we can. We expect the per capita cost should be competitive with installing a well and septic system on a rural lot.
What are the building covenants?
Compliance with the “Six Elements of Design – at a minimum
Building construction itself will at a minimum need to comply with the “Six Elements of Design”, meaning they need to front directly on and shelter the sidewalk in front and that the footprint of the structure come right to the lot line at the front and sides, making for attached, inherently energy saving and low maintenance structures. There will be a limit to the number of floors – probably 4, certainly no more than 6. The buildings will have to meet a certain defined level of fire resistance. The street network will make for perimeter blocks whereby building lots surround interior courtyards. The courtyards are owned by the surrounding lot owners who will have the final determination on how ownership of that space is handled, whether it is held in common, divided into private plots by household, or a combination of the two.
We will need ancillary rules supporting these design elements to detail such issues as roof water runoff, repairs to common walls, etc. Nothing need be reinvented. Mostly this is a matter of looking at the best existing practices where connected buildings are common. Some investors will build their own place, most will probably hire a builder. Some investors may be developer/builders that construct a place with the intention of selling it.
The Investors: Who and Why?
A while ago, an article about the Piscataquis Village Project in Mainebiz magazine stated that the list of investors in the project, “- reads like a who’s who of Piscataquis County civic and business leaders.” Now our list of pledgers has expanded to include people from five states and all walks of life. Their reasons for deciding to invest in the Project are as varied as ourselves.
Primary Residence in the Village
Residents currently employed in Piscataquis County, people that can work from any location, people that are retired or have other independent means of income will find easy transition into the Village.
Pied-a`-terre in the Village
Pied-a`-terre in the Village: The French term for “foot on the ground”, defined as a “small townhouse for occasional or secondary use” is exactly what many of the current investors have in mind. A waterfront home in the summer/pied-a`-terre in the winter. Pied-a`-terre in the summer/snowbird location in the winter. Primary residence in the big city/pied-a`-terre refuge in the Maine woods for weekends and vacations. Breakfast in Boston and lunch in Piscataquis Village four and a half hours later. The Piscataquis Village Project design covenants will not require minimum lot sizes or square footage minimums for dwellings, making the Project an ideal location for anyone who dreams of a “Tiny Home”.
Legacy for Children & Grandchildren in the Village
A $10,000 investment in the Village Project grants four “bonus lots” which can be conveyed to anyone who is not a homeowner at the time of investment. Families seem to be increasingly disconnected and living far away from each other. Providing a place of reunion for children or grandchildren, even though it may be years before they build on the lots, could be one of the finest, long-lasting, and most appreciated legacies you can provide for your family.
Doing Well by Doing Good in the Village
Folks interested in more intelligently designed, economical, and sociable places to live. Folks interested in supporting rural economic development solutions in general and Piscataquis County specifically. Folks who believe that the compact, walkable settlement pattern is a big step toward a sustainable future. Folks interested in helping to create what J.H. Crawford describes as, “The first truly car free district constructed in the USA since the dawn of the automobile age.” We are grateful to those folks that have decided that an investment pledge to the Piscataquis Village Project carries a reasonable risk to reward ratio, and so have decided to include it as part of a socially responsible investment portfolio, even though they have no intention of becoming residents themselves.
How to become a contingent investor…