Small Town for Sale

Toomsboro mayor Roger Smith stands at the fence of the newly restored bed and breakfast at the center of his mid-Georgia town
Toomsboro mayor Roger Smith stands at the fence of the newly restored bed and breakfast at the center of his mid-Georgia town

There is a story in the Huffington Post that says buying a small town just keeps getting easier.  It says a developer who owns most of Toomsboro Georgia is putting his properties up for sale.  The town has 700 residents and features several small businesses like a florist, a convenience store and a custom cabinet shop.  According to the seller it was be ideal for a movie production company for a movie or a music video.

Toomsboro is in Wilkinson County where I went to high school and I knew several classmates who lived in Toomsboro.  Kurt was a butcher in Toomsboro the last time I went through there.  .

I know this sounds sensational saying a town is for sale, but several things just do not make sense to me.  So what does it mean to buy a small town… don’t the people living there have a say?   Reportedly a developer has the properties for sale…. well I can assure you there has not been much new development in Toomboro in quite some time.  I remember when the Swampland Opera closed down and most buildings in town were showing their age and in need of repair.   Maybe I could be wrong and the developer renovated the buildings and the town.  Gosh, you know he is upside down on those loans.

Despite all the publicity, have any sales of small towns ever worked out?   I remember Kim Basigner was going to buy Braselton, another Georgia town.   That sounds about as a good idea as her marriage to Alex Baldwin. With perhaps too much disposable income, Kim headed up an investment group that purchased the entire town of Braselton, in her native Georgia, for $20 million (she would later have to sell it).

Some guy who is the sole resident of Buford Wyoming put his house up for sale and a Vietnamese businessman bought it and could say he owned the whole town.  Big deal.

The town where The Hunger Games was filmed is reportedly for sale for 1.4 million.  The owner says the town gets lots of visitors.

If a small town is for sale, it is probably not a good place to live, much less retire to.   Who wants to live in a town that someone owns most of the property in and probably runs everything.   My guess is most of these towns are ghost towns and the people have long left for better living somewhere else, leaving  some buildings that may be called a town on paper but no longer in reality.