Is Skate Legend Tony Hawk About To Buy An Entire Southern California Town For $6,600,000?

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California real estate is famous for its insanely high prices, but that doesn't mean there is a shortage of intriguing investment opportunities in the Golden State. One such opportunity is the town of Campo, which is on sale for $6,600,000. That price includes the entire town, meaning all its land, buildings and roads will be the exclusive property of whoever closes the deal.

Considering that the median home price in San Diego is nearly $1,000,000, buying an entire town for less than $7,000,000 is drawing interest from a wide array of potential buyers. One of them is rumored to be skate legend Tony Hawk. However, it's important to understand that whoever buys Campo will need to put a lot more money into it. It's not exactly a cosmopolitan locale.

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Campo is situated deep in Southern California, about 50 miles East of San Diego and a mile north of the Mexican border. However, it does have an interesting history. The city has been around since the 19th century when the famed "Buffalo Soldiers" were quartered there to stave off a potential invasion from Mexico that never came. The Buffalo Soldiers knew it as "Camp Lockett."

In World War II, Campo took on a more unfortunate purpose when it became a prisoner-of-war camp for Italian soldiers. Since then, it's become a ghost town, and it currently only has 100 residents. They all rent their apartments from the town's sole owner and landlord, a Las Vegas real estate investor named John Ray, who has owned Campo since 2000.

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Along with the land, the buyer will get 20 buildings, including single-family homes, a few apartment buildings, and some commercial properties. A list of Campo's current commercial tenants includes a Border Patrol Station, a United States Post Office, a Veterans of Foreign Wars branch, and a Baptist church. The listing did, however, note that Campo's police department, fire department, and grocery store are not included in the deal.  

The buyer will also need to renovate several of Campo's existing buildings and, more importantly, have a cohesive vision of what to do with the city. Its location is very rural and doesn't offer potential residents many employment opportunities or entertainment options. With that said, 50 miles to San Diego is not an excessively long commute by Southern California standards and San Diego has some of California's highest land prices.

For example, Santa Clarita is about 50 miles north of Los Angeles and everyone thought the people who developed it in the 1980s were insane. Now, Santa Clarita is a vibrant Southern California suburb. Listing Agent Nick Hernandez of Top Gun CRE believes Campo has similar potential for the right buyer.

Speaking to the Orange County Register, Hernandez said, "We are open to working with creative and visionary investors who have unique ideas of what they want to do with the town." It's worth noting that people have approached Campo's current owner, John Ray, with offers in the past, but they could not agree on a price. As it stands, the town has been on the market since 2019.

Unsurprisingly, John Ray is experiencing a buyer's regret about his original purchase. Speaking to the Orange County Register, he said he "didn't know" why he bought it. In his defense, it's not hard to see the appeal of owning an entire Southern California town, even in the middle of nowhere.

There is certainly potential for an investor to make the most of Campo, but it will take a unique investor with a compelling vision for Campo's future to make it profitable. Co-listing agent Joseph Barela said, "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."

With that caveat, Tony Hawk buying Campo might be the most unique of all possibilities. Imagine converting an entire town into a multi-acre skate park. Something like that could undoubtedly transform Campo's future. The possibilities are endless for the right buyer. 

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