The historic center of Campo, California, is up for sale. HMBD Empire The historic center of the former Army town of Campo, California, is for sale. T
Property Flat Villa real estate
The historic center of Campo, California, is up for sale.
The historic center of the former Army town of Campo, California, is for sale. The listing agent expects the town to go for between $5.5 million and $6 million.Campo hasn’t changed much since the 1940s: It’s scattered with vacant properties, though around 100 residents still occupy its historic center.The sale has captured the interest of movie directors, CEOs, and big tech companies. A Hollywood producer already put in an offer. Visit Businessinsider.com for more stories.Real estate agent Conor Brennan had never heard of Campo, California, until he got a call “out of nowhere” from the man who owns most of it, Las Vegas investor John Ray.”He said, ‘I have my own town if you want to check it out. I’m thinking of selling it,” Brennan said. “I had no idea he was serious.”The area is almost a ghost town, though it’s not entirely empty — its center is home to around 100 people. It comes with 28 buildings, including a post office and Baptist church.Brennan said that at first, Ray said he wanted to work on a different listing, but that turned out to be a kind of test. When Brennan proved he was easy to work with, Ray handed him the golden goose — 16 acres of Campo.After the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Wednesday that the town’s historic center was up for sale for the first time since the early 2000s, Brennan was quickly inundated with calls from movie directors, CEOs, big tech companies, and even horse breeders. He said he’s planning to sell the town center for between $5.5 million and $6 million, but he hasn’t reached a deal yet.Here’s what Campo looks like today.
Most of the buildings were erected in the 1940s. The town has seen only minor changes since.
The layout of Campo, California.
Campo has a military history: The area was home to the Buffalo Soldiers, all-black regiments of the US Army, during World War II. After the war, a base in Campo housed Italian and German war prisoners.When Ray bought the town in around 2000, he didn’t do any major renovations, Brennan said. “There’s an onsite manager who lives in one of the buildings and she lets him know when things need be done,” Brennan said. “He just keeps it repaired as needed. It’s kind of still trapped in time.”
In addition to the church and post office, the future buyer will gain ownership of a thrift store, cabinet store, and supply shop.
The Campo Baptist Church is included in the sale.
Seven of the listing’s properties are commercial units, Brennan said. That includes East County Lumber & Ranch Supply — a one-stop-shop selling everything from gardening tools to cat food to cowboy hats. The store’s co-owner, Bob Marks, told the Union-Tribune that he’s fond of the shop’s “old-time” vibe.”I’d like to keep it, basically, the same,” he said.
Some Campo residents live in converted Army barracks.
A residential property in Campo.
The former Army barracks have been divided into single-family homes and apartments. The listing includes eight multi-family units, two of which are vacant. Brennan said there are 28 residences in total. “The town is very, very tight. Everybody knows each other,” he said. “It’s a place where they feel safe and if anything happens, everybody knows about it.”
Residents are entitled to stay in their homes until their leases run out, Brennan said.
East County Lumber and Ranch Supply in Campo.
The new buyer could choose not to renew those leases, but Brennan thinks the future owner will be a hands-off investor like Ray.”It appealed to him that he was taking over a whole town,” Brennan said. “I’m assuming there would be a similar buyer now.”
A Hollywood producer has already put in an offer.
A dirt road in Campo.
Since the Union-Tribune article came out, Brennan said he has received “a bunch of ego-driven calls” from people who want to own Campo. But Ray’s ideal buyer, he said, would “keep the history of the town while modernizing it and bringing all of the abandoned buildings up to speed.”Brennan added that he has already signed a non-disclosure agreement with a Hollywood producer who put in a serious offer. “Whoever owns this and invests in it — they’re going to decide the future for the town,” he said.