A businessman in Hong Kong sold a parking space on October 24th for $969,000. According to the South China Morning Post, Johnny Cheung reportedly sold the 135-square-foot parking space to an unidentified buyer in front of The Center, a 79-floor tower in Hong Kong’s Central neighborhood, a busy district on the island. Hong Kong is densely populated and of course, that means real estate comes at a premium. But the same can be said of a number of American cities and as interest in certain (read Black) areas grows, those who own will be in a position of power.
New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Miami, Tulsa, Seattle, Portland, Little Rock. On the surface it would seem that these places are all very different. Yet they share on thing in common — they all have a finite amount of space. Regardless of how big they are, how beautiful or ugly they may appear, there is only but so much land and that makes every inch of it valuable. Gentrifiers know this, too. Neighborhoods that have historically been white in larger cities have tended to be desirable and as such demand is high. But there are only so many houses that can be built on the North Side of Chicago and on the South Side of Tulsa. There is little room left in the Galleria area of Houston and so naturally, the rush is on to buy up what land is left in American cities and if Black people aren’t vigilant, what opportunities are left for ownership will disappear.
Johnny Cheung, according to CNN, had owned four of the 400 spaces at The Center. The other three were sold for six figures and this latest one was sold for nearly $ 1 million. Those parking spaces were, undoubtedly, not worth $1 million when Cheung bought them. But space, land and real estate are all finite and regardless of its value today, it is certain that it will continue to appreciate — unlike cars and clothing. Phoenix cannot grow more land and neither can Jackson, Mississippi. It matters not how poor the neighborhood, how bad the crime stats, the land is valuable and while there is still opportunity, Black people must aggressively buy the neighborhoods they live in and still have a chance to purchase. The gentrifiers see the value in your community, why don’t you?
Apartments generate revenue and so do parking spaces, apparently. Schools, hospitals, restaurants and even universities have one thing in common — they all need land to exist. Whoever owns the land has the power and whoever has power cannot be moved. Do what you must but buy the land. Perhaps you don’t have $100,000 for a property but you and nine other friends do. Black people have a rich history of investing as a collective and if that’s what it takes, do it. Buy the land, own the land and put yourself in a position of power. Cities can’t grow but your power can.