Castle Roland

Chapter 28

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Chapter Twenty Eight

"Hello? ... Oh, hi Mr. Ken. ... Yea, we must have fallen asleep. ... Sure, I'm up now and Ryan is stirring. ... Yea, we'll be down in like ten minutes. ... Ok, see you in a few. Bye." And Collin closed his phone.

"Ryan, get up. Bro wants us to come downstairs. He wants to talk to us. I told him we'd be down in like ten minutes. Come on, get up!"

The boys got out of bed, got themselves dressed and headed for the bathroom and relieved their full bladders. Along the way, they teased each other as most friends do as they descended down the stairs and headed for the Study.

Entering the Study, the boys sat down and waited for Mr. Ken to get off the phone.

"Boys, I have good news. Remember when we talked about me buying some land so I could put some businesses close to here. Well, I just got off the phone and I want you both to know that I will be buying some land very close by, and soon. What do you say to that?" Mr. Ken asked the teenaged boys.

"That's awesome!" stated Ryan. What will you be building? I sure hope it is a nice pizza place and maybe an arcade for us kids," continued Ryan.

"Well, Collin, do you have anything to say?" asked Mr. Ken.

"Well, I agree with Ryan, but I don't know what is needed other than a nice restaurant so we don't have to drive so far away all the time. And it would be nice to have someplace close to go to have some fun. Do you have anything in mind?" inquired Collin.

"Boys, I was only able to buy 60 acres of the 85 I originally wanted to purchase. But I got all four corners at the crossroads where we turn to go out to the main roads. And I have the better part of two whole sides and enough that I will have an opportunity to determine what will be there as well. I had hoped this purchase would go through before the New Year, and essentially it has. I actually won't pay for it until the surveys are completed and all the stipulations for my buying it are met. I hope by sometime this February I will take possession of the property. Then I can begin to develop it," an excited Mr. Ken explained to the lads.

"So, Bro, are you gonna put in a restaurant?" asked Ryan.

"My intention is to put in a number of things. I want there to be a pizza place ..."

"Like Pizza Hut?" broke in Ryan.

"Yes, a national chain restaurant like that would be good. It will depend on who can afford to buy a franchise and build one. I also want to put in a Go-Cart Track. ..."

"Awesome! That would be so much fun to race you around the track and beat the pants off you. What do you think about that Collin? Wouldn't it would be great to have something like that to go to and meet our friends."

"I have many plans for the area, Ryan. I want a regular restaurant that will serve nice family dinners and also have a quick serve window for like hot dogs, hamburgers and fries and maybe have soft serve ice cream as well. And before you ask, it won't be a DQ. Many franchises have territory restrictions and since there is one pretty close by, I don't think another will be allowed but I will ask that question."

"Boys, there is also something else I want to put in. What would you say to a 'Family Amusement park'? One that had a train that ran around the perimeter of the park. And a Putt-Putt and some small kiddie rides and a few other fun time rides for teens. What are your thoughts about that, boys?" was the question left hanging for the two 15 year old boys to answer.

"Bro, I'm not too sure about the kiddie rides. I know I'd rather have a real good roller coaster and some 'tight' rides that scare the pants off ya," answered Ryan.

"Ah, Bro, I think my dad would say you have to do the demographics and see what ages of kids are around and what is the median income of the families nearby and is that something that would be a draw from other neighborhoods," was Collin's input.

"What do you know about those, Col?" Ryan quickly asked.

"Well, Ry, I remember my dad always talking about those things when he was thinking about building a new plant or a new store. He had tons of statistics and lots of diagrams and he seemed to pour over them day and night. It would take him four to six months before he made a decision, Ry. Then it takes a lot of time to get the building permits and then find a good contractor, write the contracts and lots more. I bet Mr. Ken here has to do the exact same thing and even if he buys that land in February it will be another year before he even begins to build. Ry, we'll be out of high school, or at least in our senior year when there are all those things out there," added Collin.

"Ryan, Collin's right! It does take loads of time to go from the buying stage to the completed project. Collin is also right there about needing to know what types of people live nearby and would they want something like that nearby and will they support it. You know I just can't rely on the local families to fully support those places. I need to know who else lives nearby and what kind of money they earn and then there are the roads. You see how that road is now. It is only two lanes wide and with the influx of traffic we'll require at least four lanes and possibly a turning lane, stop lights and street lights and much, much more. All of that has to be planned through the County Planning & Zoning Offices and they have to 'buy' off on the plans. I just can't go in there and build what I want. It has to meet Building Codes and adhere to parking density ratios for certain types of endeavors."

"When I asked about buying that land, my lawyer asked me if I knew what I was getting into. When I told him NO, he laughed and set me straight. I now also own a construction company, architect group and an office load of people. Or, I should say I will very soon own those. Guys, I am going to enlarge my operations and I will become a bigger entrepreneur than I am now and very soon and very fast."

"But what does that have to do with us?" asked Collin.

"Collin ... Ryan, it was you two who had me look into what was sorely lacking in this neck of the woods. When I did some investigating on my own, your observations were 'dead on' on what was needed. It just wasn't a restaurant and arcade that was needed here. This area also needs gas stations and laundry facilities, hair salons and video rentals and lots of smaller stores that can offer the goods and services the people around here need."

"You two got me into this and you are going to help me gather up some of the 'young' demographics."

"How?" piped up Ryan.

"Ryan, you are a sophomore in high school which means you know lots of kids older than you and younger than you. I bet these kids will gladly answer a survey if you asked them to. And that information will give me the data I will need in order to invite the stores this area needs. Collin can help you with the collection and correlation of the information. Will you do that for me, Lil Bro?"

"Sure, Bro, no problem there. How about it, Col? Will you help me there? You can help me develop what needs to be asked unless Bro here already has an idea of what he needs to be asked. You know we can put out a Link and ask the kids to answer it online, or we can give them the questions and have them send an email to a collection email account. Something like what we did for the invitations. That gonna work for you, Bro?"

"Well, let's see how my meeting goes on the First. When you guys are having your New Year's Day Swim, I'm going to meet with a number of people to get their inputs and ideas of what is needed to support and serve the families of this area," Ken informed the guys of his intentions.

"What? You're having a big meeting and we can't be there? It was our idea, Bro. Why can't we be a part of that meeting?" asked a disgruntled Ryan.

"Ryan, that is what you will be doing for me. You will be gathering the info from all the kids at school and wherever else you decided to get the information from. You'll be not only giving me your inputs, but will be canvassing all the kids to see what they would like to have nearby. Once I have collected what I need, then I will get with my architect and he'll begin preliminary drawings and off we'll go. Please keep in mind there won't be anything on that land until next Christmas at the earliest! Collin already said why that will be. Even if I bankroll the entire venture, I will still need to sign up businessmen who are interested. And to do that I need conceptual drawings and there will have to be new roads put in as well. I'll have to work with the County concerning that and then there is the funding issue. It could be two or three years before the County will have the money to build the infrastructure. There is so much to do," explained Mr. Ken, but speaking mostly to Ryan.

"But, Bro, you could offer the pay for it all and take a refund or rebate or whatever they call it on your taxes. You know, work it all out that they get something sooner than expected and you get to build new businesses and then you don't pay taxes for like the next hundred years or something," offered Ryan, as a way to get the project off the ground sooner.

Laughing at his excitement, Mr. Ken said, "Those are all good ideas, Ryan. I'll take them under advisement but I won't promise anything. I am going to wait to hear from the people at my informal meeting and then I have to listen to my advisers and lawyers and a whole lot of other people."

Just then Collin's cell phone rang. He looked over at his Big Bro because that is who has been calling him but he saw he wasn't even close to a phone. Collin looked at the Caller ID but didn't recognize who it was as it listed only the last name, McNeary. The phone kept ringing and Collin sat there staring at it.

"Well, aren't you gonna answer it, Col?" spoke up Ryan.

"Oh ... oh yea ... Hello? ... Oh, hi Shelley. I didn't recognize the name on the Caller ID. ... Not many people have my number and I couldn't figure out who would be calling me. ... ... Oh, he did? Yes, that sounds like him. He's my Best Friend for sure. ... Yea, I can't wait until Wednesday night too.. ... Yes, it's gonna be a blast for sure. ... Yea, I know but ... well Mr. Ken went with experience. ... Yea, I heard Cheri was pissed. I was in the room when she and Ryan talked. ... ... No, I'm not gonna comment on that phone call. What happened, happened and besides, there are always two sides to every story. ... You'll have to ask Ryan. ... Yea, I'd like that. Let me ask Mr. Ken. ... Oh, I live here and he's my guardian. ... Here at Three Finger Cove. Didn't you know that? Didn't Megan tell you? ... Ah, she was ... ah huh ... Ok, I thought you knew the night your band auditioned. ... I hope that's not gonna cause a problem that you didn't know. ... Yea, ok let me ask. Hold on, will ya?

Collin looked over to Mr. Ken and explained that Shelley wanted Ryan and him to meet her and Megan over at the Mall tomorrow. He explained the girls were thinking they'd meet about one and then they would spend the day hanging out together and get to know one another better. Then he said that they could maybe take in a movie and then hang out some more and get something to eat. Collin looked to Ken for an answer.

"Hello, Shelley, you still there? Kewl, yes, Mr. Ken said he thought it was a great idea but that Ryan has to call his mom and ask her. ... Yea, Ryan is here more than at home but Mr. Ken says he can't speak for Mrs. Taylor. ... Ok, I'll be there at least and I'm pretty sure Ryan can be, too. 'Mom' doesn't usually say 'no' to us. ... What, no I'll explain that tomorrow, too, Ok? ... Thanks for calling, Shelly. ... Yes, I'm looking forward to tomorrow, too. Bye!" And with that Collin hung up and he had the biggest 'shit eatin'' grin on his face.

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