Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Costs and thoughts for a campus.$80 million and counting!

Using the ex Honda test facility in California as a base, I have come up with some figures.

Today, I looked at some private race tracks online. Most are catering to rich people. I also looked at a few sites about track costs.

If you own the land, have the permissions, and the track is designed, it is estimated to cost about $1-2 million USA per mile of asphalt track.

So if I was to build 5 miles of F1 type track it would cost $10 million USA.

That is about 3 times the cost of the land!

Here is what one reader added to this forum:

Here is what it is costing us:2 million for land
1 million per mile of racetrack, so 2 million for 2 mile road course
1 million for parking lot and other infrastructure elements
1 million for clubhouse facility (read, large metal building with a cantina and lockerooms)
4 million for engineers, designers, architects, safety inspections, EPA inspections, insurance, safety, and other miscellaneous contruction and expense
grand total = 10 million and this is a really bare bones setupInsurance and upkeep annually will be nuts so factor that in.

My proposal would be
$3 million for the land
$10 million. $2 million per mile of racetrack. $10 million  for 5 miles of F1 quality track.
$3 million for parking and other infrastructure elements
Cost of a Solar farm. We can be electricity independent. We have about 4,255acres.
Apple have just spent $3 million for a 200 acre site in California for use as a Solar farm.
No costs appear online. However, I found another article.

This project will consist of ten 200-acre solar farms, which are to cost $70 million each.

National Solar Power said that each 20-MW portion of the project will employ a three-person maintenance crew, an engineer, and security personnel, and the average salary for the permanent jobs mentioned above is expected to be $40,000 per year.
I have no idea how much electricity we would use. We have permissions to set up a solar farm. Land is not a problem. $70 million is a lot of money!
I'll leave that to one side for now. Perhaps we could lease the land to a corporation. They set up the farm we get free electricity!
$30 million
University entrance and buildings. This depends on the amount of students we expect and the number of rooms/ workshops needed.
If we operate on an OU basis students will only be on campus for a few days to maybe a few months.
Maybe we should look at erecting a permanent Grandstand. It could be sectioned for lessons. When an event takes place we utilise the grandstand as a grandstand. Burnley FC have a University which utises a multi use architecture.

Stadiarena quote $3,000 per seat for an arena. So lets say we stick a 10,000 seat arena trackside.
We make it multi use. Theoretically it would cost $30 million. However it would be used as lecture rooms, and function as a trackside stand when appropriate.
This would be in addition to the buildings already on the site.
$10 million Student accomodation.
To keep costs down. I propose a mixture of a tent city, dorms and single rooms. This gives students a choice.
We can invite a proper hotel chain the chance to set up, or build ourselves. Plus California City is hugely under developed, I'm sure accomodation will pop up.
Lets budget $10 million for accomodation. This can include buying land and developing property in California City. Obviously, there needs to be somewhere for clients to stay.
$7 million for engineers, designers, architects, safety inspections, EPA inspections, insurance, safety, and other miscellaneous contruction and expense
grand total = 63 million and this may grow...Insurance and upkeep annually will be nuts so factor that in.

Then we need to add cars and academics plus course contracts.

Lets say we use Lotus and Westfields with maybe some Satria rally cars.Add in some of those expensive Lotus F125 pretend F1 cars. How much? F125's are a million each!
Lets say a stable of 50 cars and bikes at an average of $100,000 each, plus 2 F125's.
$7 million plus $3 million worth of garages/workshops/storage.

So about $73 million buys the land buildings track and cars/bikes.Lets add $7 million for Media and TV plus academic licences and permissions to enable the OU side of the business to operate. I pulled this figure out of the air.
So $80 million gets us an operational circuit fully equipped to open as both a circuit and University.

This figure obviously doubles if we include a 200 acre solar farm.

I'm not an accountant. I may have missed something very obvious!

ROI on $80 million. If we get University status, and can successfully combine OU studies with the physical campus. The education would be done in modules. Phoenix University is the most successful private OU in North America. It can have 1/2 million students at any given time.
One full academic year costs circa $10,000. Many students will only take a partial year.
Lets say 1/2million students taking an average of $2,000 worth of modules per year and we make $1,000 million revenue per year.
I am not saying we will achieve this in the short term. However, it could be a medium term goal.

Ideally, I would like 4+ campuses worldwide. With a medium to long term goal of 1 million students.

Many of the costs, land, accomodation and Stadium/University can be amortised over years.
The cars and bikes have a short and expensive lifespan.

What a wonderful way to introduce Proton, Potenza and Lotus to North America!

Monday, January 21, 2013

No new Lotus cars till 2015. Sounds good to me.

Just been reading some recent DRB-Hicom news. Property development seems to be high on their agenda...
How about buying the ex Honda Test Centre in California and developing it for a Motorsport University.

Lotus, Proton and Westfield (Potenza) all participate in Motorsports. They are all owned by DRB-Hicom. Get feedback from them on their wants and needs. Talk to your educational partners, DRB-Hicom own their own University, as do Petronas.
Develop the site.
Sell it to the New Uni on a rent to buy basis. Part of the deal could be for the University to use Hardware (cars etc) sourced mainly from the DRB-Hicom stable.
This would enable DRB-Hicom to offer the University reasonable terms on its rent to buy agreement.
Most of the initial property development could be done by DRB-Hicom. Hand over the design to a local architect to ensure it complies with USA/Californian regulations and away we go.
According to the Paul Tan article 2015 is when we can expect new products from Lotus.

He (Mohd Kamil DRB-Hicom CEO) also divulged that we can expect replacements for the Exige and Evora by 2015 or 2016, with a newly-developed platform and engine at the heart of things. No confirmation about whether the platform will be a carry-over or evolution of that from the Paris cars.

Lets target September 2015 as the opening date for the project. DRB-Hicom develops its first overseas project with a customer in place.
Might I suggest this Builder as a possible Californian partner.
Lets keep this as eco friendly as practicable, and disability friendly!
I just saw this picture. Simple and efficient.

Makes sense to me! Every cloud has a silver lining.
Did I mention that I have a USA passport and am available for this?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No new Models for Group Lotus? Why did the banks lend them all that money?

I have just been checking online for Lotus News. Paul Tan in Malaysia report that all the models shown by Lotus in Paris were in fact cancelled prior to them becoming the new owners. The bank loan to pay for the models had been spent, and the money is still owed to the banks!
Apparently, there will be a new model(s) in 2015/16.
What a mess.

Never mind. I assume the new model will use the Petronas designed engine. The Elise would be a good car for this product.
As Proton have now hired the Petronas Powertrain employees.
Meanwhile, together with the technologies, Proton has also acquired a
Petronas facility in Bangi and technological equipment from the national oil

"Two personnel From Petronas have joined us. Talks are being held with
Petronas to secure the remaining manpower of 60," he said. Bernama

Read more: Petronas engines to power Proton cars

 I suppose they could also help in development of the unfinished Lotus 8 cylinder engine.

The car side of Lotus has been a drain, while the Engineering side pays for itself.
Nothing new there.

I didn't buy the Sunday Times this week. I had relatives over from Ireland and was busy. However, the paper ran an article on Lotus.
I got the link via this article on Truth about Cars.
I assume they can't understand how so few employees can run up so much debt with no end product.

Supposedly, KPMG decided the 5 car plan was not viable. They? cancelled the the plan. DRB-Hicom just rubber stamped their decision.

Seriously, I think DRB-Hicom should give me a call! I'm not an accountant. I can get a lot of people to vouch for my character, both positive and negative... depending who you ask.
Honestly, I do have a modicum of common sense, and I'm not a Know all big mouth. And I do have the skeleton of a workable viable plan. Historically this would mean that Group Lotus will have no interest in executing it.

Historically, Group Lotus have been in permanent crisis. Lets seriously look at a different approach. I'm different. My plan is different. Maybe doing something different is what Lotus needs!!

Hopefully, DRB-Hicom and Proton/Lotus can see that my educational proposal would compliment what they have got, and be profitable.

I am hoping that some people on the inside of Lotus look at my proposal with fresh eyes.

I can't be the only one who sees the potential.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Roads less travelled. California looks good.

I see that Battersea power station is being developed. Penthouses on the development cost £6 million pounds,
My dad worked as a welder on Battersea power station when it was being built.
Anyway, a lot of people are buying into the development as an investment. It may well pay off.

As you may know, I am promoting the former Honda proving ground as a campus. This costs $3 million.

This is about one third of the cost of a Penthouse in Battersea Power Station.

The California site would probably require some updates and additions. Student accommodation would have to built. Classrooms and labs added.

I'm not a developer. So say we spent £12 million total.Two penthouses in Battersea power station.
$18 million USA. $3 million for the site. $15 million for updates.

Lets say $20 Million USA total outlay.

You now have a customised Motorsport University. DRB-Hicom and Petronas can supply the hardware, Cars, lubricants, and technical support.

As a private University can I get the same ROI as two Battersea penthouses?



I think so. Don't you?
The site has all the required permissions for a Motor testing which I assume would cover anything we would need. The local town would welcome the extra business (I think) and it can be used as a Solar farm (permissions in place).
This isn't as obvious an investment opportunity as two Batterea penthouses. I would say it could be described as the road less travelled.
Despite this, I would say it is an opportunity not to be missed.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tilo and Curtney's Hochzeit. A memorable event!

 Last week I attended Tilo and Curtney's wedding reception in Leipzig

Tilo's fellow band mates 50fifty play a special Wedding song for Tilo and Curtney

Me and the barbeque and DJ Man,Ingo. He was a good guy.
Claus illustrated the Charity Book Innocence lost in the ice cream forest. He is Tilo's dad.
Tilo also helped me set up my webpage and made my banner among other things.
Many thanks!
I think everyone had a great time. I certainly did!