Rich George Lucas gives the finger to his rich neighbors
The neighbors of George Lucas won't let him build a film studio on his own land in gorgeous Marin County -- so he has come up with a better plan. Read on to find out what.
George Lucas had a grand plan for his huge chunk of land in Marin County, California: A 300,000 square foot movie studio with a 200-car garage, gym, restaurant and day care center for employees that would bring an estimated $300 million to the area. His snooty rich neighbors said no way and put the kibosh on the project, so now the Star Wars creator is planning something they can't fight.
Skywalker Properties, Lucas's real estate holdings company, issued a statement laying out his disappointment in his neighbors and how he plans to get them back.
"The level of bitterness and anger expressed by the homeowners in Lucas Valley has convinced us that, even if we were to spend more time and acquire the necessary approvals, we would not be able to maintain a constructive relationship with our neighbors," reads the letter.
"We love working and living in Marin, but the residents of Lucas Valley have fought this project for 25 years, and enough is enough. Marin is a bedroom community and is committed to building subdivisions, not business. Many years ago, we tried to stop the Lucas Valley Estates project from being built, but we failed, and we now have a subdivision on our doorstep."
So what does Lucas have planned for the property now that a film studio is off the table? Basically a giant FU to his rich neighbors: low-income housing. Because there's nothing that the one percent hate more than poor people!
"We hope we will be able to find a developer who will be interested in low-income housing since it is scarce in Marin," said the letter. "If everyone feels that housing is less impactful on the land then we are hoping that people who need it the most will benefit."
Lucas has a powerful ally on his side: The Marin Community Foundation, who fully supports the move.
"We are thrilled that George Lucas is seeing this as an opportunity to address one of the most critical issues in Marin County — making it possible for a broad range of individuals and families to afford to live in Marin," said Thomas Peters, president and CEO of the Foundation. "In many instances, this is housing for people who work in the county but can't afford to live here and for people who grew up here but who now cannot afford safe, secure housing in their home county. And we have always paid particular attention to the need for affordable housing by the county's expanding senior population."
Marin County is one of the most expensive places in the United States to buy a residence, with an average home price of $672,620 as of March 2012 compared to the California median home price of $291,080.