Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TM™ Wants To Sell You Swamp Land In Florida

File under: The Siddhi of PR

The old coot is long gone now, so the minions have begun unloading the remnants of his utterly grandiose dreams—for a grandiose profit, they hope:
A 450-acre tract planned for a theme park mixing magic and Transcendental Meditation remains vacant in the tourism corridor. Almost two decades later, the two men behind the project are dead, and the land has a $150 million price tag...

A Maharishi subsidiary closed on the property in 1990 for $20 million in cash. In 1996, it was on the market for $60 million after the group shifted efforts to a site in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
And a grandiose vision this was:
The park plan originally included a building seemingly suspended above water without supports, a "magic flying chariot" that took riders inside the molecular structure of a rose, and robots that would fly through the air, performing magic tricks.

The development was projected to cost $1 billion.

The backers spent hundreds of thousands of dollars planning the project and getting government approvals, which expired years ago.
But now, they're merely deluded about what the property is worth in today's market:
"That property has been for sale for 25 years," she said. "In today's marketplace, you don't know if it is a good price because no commercial property has sold in a long time."

The listing averages about $330,000 an acre, which Goodwin-Nichols said is "not bad for usable property," but the tract includes wetlands that would not be worth as much.
Except to all the threatened wildlife that lives there.

If TM™ really, really did care about the world, they'd make it a nature preserve rather than a cash cow bloated to the bursting point by the dollar signs dancing in their eyes, gleaming with greed.

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