Thank the maker! Star Wars creator George Lucas has submitted plans to build a brand new affordable housing complex in the wealthy Lucas Valley area of California.
As far back as 1988, George Lucas has sought planning approval for redevelopment of Grady Ranch at 2400 Lucas Valley Road in Marin County, California, near his most well known property, Skywalker Ranch. These proposals have included a plan for construction of a digital production center for Lucasfilm in 2012, and was heavily protested by other residents of the area.
Last week, Lucas struck back with a new proposal for a 224-unit affordable housing complex on the site, apparently footing the $150-million bill himself. The complex is said to consist of a mixture of residences along with a pool and community center.
The proposals have been met with backlash from residents of the area, concerned that crime rates will rise and property values will fall. According to his lawyer, Lucas has commented on the project which would take placer in an area with an average household income of over $90k as saying, "We've got enough millionaires here. What we need is some houses for regular working people."
This continues Lucas' trend of philanthropic gestures, following on from the $4-billion pledge to education from the proceeds of the sale of Lucasfilm, the formation of the educational foundation, Edutopia, and his Giving Pledge to will half of his fortune to charity.