Entire town in California goes on sale for $6,600,000 – but why is it so cheap?

Entire town in California goes on sale for $6,600,000 – but why is it so cheap?

The ‘historic’ California town is on sale for $6.6million (Picture: Top Gun CRE)

An entire town in California has been put on the market for $6.6 million (£5.2m).

The unusual real estate opportunity has been listed with San Diego-based agency, Top Gun Commercial Real Estate

One of the agents helping to sell the estate is Joseph Barela, who says the property has already had some early interest, most notably a famous movie producer and the legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk.

Campo is located just a mile from the Mexican border and around 50 miles southeast of San Diego. At first glance, it feels as though time has stopped, thanks to the old dirt roads, Wild West-looking wooden cabins, and the scatterings of abandoned buildings left to the mercy of Mother Nature.

But Barela and his fellow agent Nick Hernandez are committed to finding a ‘visionary’ buyer, and insist that its current state is all part of Campo’s ‘charm’.

‘The town presents a canvas for investors with vision, offering the potential for high cash flow and significant upside through strategic development and honed operations,’ the website reads.

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Plus, the realtors explain that the ‘ripe for revitalisation’ community provides buyers with the potential to ‘steer the future of Downtown Campo.’

‘It is known for its natural beauty, historical significance, and close-knit community,’ Hernandez told USA TODAY.

Campo requires a lot of renovations to revitalise the town (Picture: Top Gun CRE)

What’s included in the sale of Campo?

Whether you’re seriously interested or just window shopping, the sprawling estate has a lot to offer.

But there are some downsides, as Campo requires some serious renovations. However, if you’re up for a challenge, they shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance.

KUSI-TV news revealed that inside the 16-acres there’s around 92,000 square feet of building property. And, at $6.6 million, that works out to be $71 a square foot.

With over 20 buildings, Campo offers a mix of apartments, single-family homes, and commercial properties ready and waiting to be rented out. Additionally, the listing explains that the vacant buildings can be renovated for new uses.

The commercial tenants – of which there are currently 600, according to Barela – include a Baptist church, a US Post Office, a Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter, a metal shop, a cabinet shop, a lumber shop and a border patrol outpost.

‘Not included in the sale, this town has a police department, fire station [and] grocery store,’ the listing notes.

The town is located about an hour from San Diego (Picture: Top Gun CRE)

What’s the history of Campo?

The area of Campo was first settled in the 19th century, but it wasn’t until World War II that it was really put on the map.

According to the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association, Campo served as a military town. And, as per KUSI-TV, ‘was used to house the Buffalo Soldiers waiting for an invasion that would never come.’ During this period, the famed Buffalo Soldiers knew the town as Camp Lockett.

At this time, Campo was also home to a 300-bed Italian prisoner of war camp.

These days, the town houses roughly 100 people, who all rent from a single owner who is ready to sell the property to someone else. Like Barela and Hernandez, he wants the estate to be purchased by someone with a ‘vision for the future. ‘

Campo once served as a military town during WWII (Picture: Top Gun CRE)

Who owns Campo right now?

Speaking of the mystery owner, Campo is currently in the possession of Las Vegas real estate investor John Ray, who has owned most of the town since 2000.

Ray reportedly tried to sell Campo in 2019 but he was unsuccessful, hence why he’s enlisted the help of Hernandez and Barela at Top Gun Commercial Real Estate.

‘John has received offers in the past but has never been able to agree on a price with those buyers,’ Hernandez explained.

The agent also noted that the biggest challenge in finding a new investor is the isolated location and lack of job opportunities in the local area. ‘Most of these people work in San Diego and El Cajon,’ Barela added.

Both locations are between a 50 and one hour commute from Campo.

In a recent interview with Orange County Register, Ray admitted that he ‘didn’t know’ why he bought the estate to begin with.

He said: ‘Why do I buy anything? I don’t know. To make a profit, I guess.’

Campo’s owner is looking for a ‘visionary’ investor (Picture: Top Gun CRE)

What’s the vision for Campo?

Ideally, Top Gun CRE is looking for a buyer who genuinely has an interest in revitalising Campo. Not to mention an investor who will respect and listen to the wants and needs of the current residents.

‘We are open to working with creative and visionary investors who have unique ideas of what they want to do with the town,’ Hernandez said, again noting the myriad of both commercial and residential redevelopment opportunities.

‘We are hoping to reach a buyer that is a visionary with a heart, that cares about the community and wants to further development in a positive way for the current residents and also the future of Campo,’ Barela added.

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