Inchvesting in Detroit

$1 will buy you one square inch of a vacant lot in Detroit, and membership in Jerry Paffendorf's club of "inchvestors." It may sound like a scheme, but Paffendorf calls it a way to network, invest in Detroit, and attract entrepreneurs.
March 10, 2010, 5am PST | Rebecca Sanborn Stone
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"For $1, you can own a piece of Detroit. It will be a small piece: 1 square inch, to be exact. But your deed to that microplot of land will also buy you passage into an online community that could yield big ideas for the city."

Jerry Paffendorf's "Loveland" project started when he bought a vacant lot in Detroit for $500 and then put it up for sale online - in 10,000 1-square inch segments. Buyers worldwide have been snapping up the lots, and coming up with plenty of ideas to improve their new city.

Detractors call they project a pyramid scheme or exploitation, but Paffendorf and some of his investors see it as a way to reconnect with Detroit, to bring in new ideas, to fundraise for local charities and non-profits, and hopefully to help the City recover.

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Published on Thursday, March 4, 2010 in NPR
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