Robert Burnett, founder and principal of Burnett Partners in Charleston, S.C., is a global advisor to developers of luxury resorts. His experience extends to ships: It was a team led by Burnett, he says, that sold more than $200 million worth of condos onboard "The World."
Burnett tells ABC News, "The challenges of translating exuberant visions such as The "Marquette" into profitable realities can be daunting. The development world--both on land and at sea--is littered with developers who underestimate the complexities of what it takes to finance, market and actually build their visions."
Nelson says so far he has taken deposits of $1,000 each for about 25 percent of the Marquette's units. He won't, he says, begin construction until 90 percent of the units have been sold--a goal he thinks he'll hit by February 2014. After that, building the barge will take another year.
Rome, Illinois, wasn't built in a day.