libertyblitzkrieg.com / By Michael Krieger / February 24, 2013
The “Commonwealth of Belle Isle” is the brainchild of Michigan real estate developer Rod Lockwood. The concept is to raise one billion dollars in order to purchase the uninhabited 982-acre Belle Isle situated between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario and then create an independent self-sustaining community. According to the project’s website they aim to:
Build a supercharged community with its own laws, customs, transportation systems, taxation and currency, transforming Belle Isle into the “Midwest Tiger,” rivaling Singapore and Hong Kong as an economic miracle. Served by a monorail, Belle Isle is a walking community, with restricted hours for vehicles. With emphasis on great planning and architecture, people from all over the world come to Belle Isle, to be part of its freedom and opportunity culture.
So I have read the FAQs on Belle Isle on the project’s website and I have two primary concerns.
First, I really dislike the idea that all of the 35,000 citizens expected to populate the island must pay $300,000 to buy-in. While I understand the need for funding, I also think that a community of people that have already accumulated that much wealth will not be particularly dynamic or interesting. I would personally have maybe 50% of the island populated in that manner, with the remaining spots available to those that have a particular skill, intellect or creativity to offer the community irrespective of their age or bank account.
*Correction: A reader brought to my attention that 20% of Belle Isle is to consist of citizens with reduced or no citizen fees. I still think 20% is low, but this alleviates some of my concerns.