Industry News

Real estate investors gain ground in virtual worlds

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Editor's note: This story kicks off our three-part series on virtual real estate worlds. Find out why these worlds are not just games, and what entices people to pay real money for land in cyberspace. (See Part 1: The next big (cyber) land grab and Part 3: The real estate worlds of cyberspace.) You probably wouldn't think of an asteroid as a real estate developer's dream. But Jon Jacobs has big plans for this asteroid: 1,000 apartments, 200 shops, a night club, and plenty of profits from mining and hunting activities. Even though this grand resort project will be built on a virtual asteroid in cyberspace, Jacobs said he views it as a solid investment -- and that's why he paid $100,000 in real-world money. Jacobs, of Miami, said he plans to release the apartment units slowly into the marketplace, probably over the course of 18 to 24 months, and he also plans to gradually phase in the commercial space. "I expect the prices will go up quite dramatically, so I don't want to flood the...