The business model seems pretty sweet. With all the talk about land being held in common, it's easy to forget that someone (i.e., the OPAL organization) actually does own the land, and the economic benefits of land ownership accrue to the balance sheet of OPAL rather than to individual homeowners. OPAL owns the underlying land asset, receives income from the sale of housing, and receives public funding on top of that. That's hard to beat, especially when OPAL receives funding to purchase the land debt-free and receives tax relief for being a 501(c)(3) (and because of County waivers too).
The New Economy is very profitable, but it is a model of economic dependency ... dependency on outside subsidy and tax breaks. It is not a model of economic self-sufficiency. It is not a model of economic productivity.
In our modern mixed economy, there should always be a place for projects like this of appropriate scale in our communities, but it can never be a model for the whole community. It is unsustainable.
|Click to Enlarge - OPAL Finances in 2010|