Thousands of people in Asia, Germany, Canada and elsewhere are betting from $10,000 to over $300,000 apiece that they can make money speculating in land in Jackson and Barrow counties.
But if it happens, payoff probably isn’t in the immediate future.
The Walton Group, who through its subsidiaries is the largest property owner in Jackson County, has sold thousands of interests in its proposed local developments to “retail investors” — individuals — throughout Asia, Germany and Canada.
Those investors, reportedly advised at the beginning they would have to wait six to 10 years to get a return on their shares of various Walton projects — at $10,000 a pop — have stakes in more than 6,500 acres of Walton proposed developments in Barrow and Jackson counties.
Since most of the company’s purchases locally were from 2010 out, investors shouldn’t expect a return on their money until 2016 or later, Walton officials note.
It’s an investment/financing mechanism that works, say Ed Fleming, president of Walton Development and Management USA, and Paul Beidel, president of the group’s Southeast division. It works, they say, because Walton is a family-owned company that doesn’t have to produce short-term profits like most publicly held corporations and can take a long view with its projects.
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