Galloping Ghost Holdings’ purchase of 19 parcels of land – which includes more than a dozen buildings and a handful of parking lots – is remarkable for all kinds of reasons.
First, the $3 million transaction includes parcels that are all on the south side of Ogden Avenue between Maple and Blanchan, so a real concentration of properties. While those properties were all previously owned by Galloping Ghost’s late former landlord, Steve Campbell, this single transaction is unprecedented in recent memory.
And to think that the seeds of this purchase were planted when Doc Mack, now 46 years old, was a high school kid looking for space to shoot action sequences for a videogame he was making — and is still making as we speak.
It’s about as unlikely a story and relationship as you could imagine.
Campbell, known best in town as a zoning curmudgeon who perpetually aggravated village officials, let Mack, an 18-year-old kid obsessed with videogames, use a former tile store on Ogden Avenue, free of charge, to film action sequences in front of a green screen.
Over the years, Campbell continued to foster Mack’s entrepreneurial spirit, renting him space in 2010 for a new videogame arcade to help fund development of the game.
The arcade became an international pilgrimage site for arcade game devotees, and the business, which started in one Campbell storefront with about 120 games, grew into several more (and it’s still growing) storefronts. The arcade game inventory is now pushing 1,000 machines.
Along the way, the Galloping Ghost brand expanded into other Campbell-owned properties to house a martial arts gym, the videogame production studio, a pinball arcade and even a car repair business. Whenever Mack had an idea, Campbell had a building.
Although Campbell had always said he wanted Mack to buy the properties he was renting, Campbell’s sudden death a couple of years ago cast some doubt. However, those doubts are laid to rest with the purchase in April and Galloping Ghost is in control of its destiny, making a major investment in Brookfield.
While that’s great news, it also means that one entity will have quite an influence on how that part of Ogden Avenue looks and feels in the future. It will be incumbent on the village of Brookfield to foster improvements and work hand in hand with Mack, who overnight became the single biggest landowner on Ogden Avenue in Brookfield, to beautify those storefronts.
It’s a huge opportunity for both Galloping Ghost and Brookfield and could set an example for future redevelopment elsewhere along the corridor moving forward.