Mobile home park for sale, residents could lose homes

Trey Pecor is selling the Lakeview Mobile Home Park in Shelburne and residents there worry they’re about to lose their homes.

Pecor is asking $2.4 million for the 7.39-acre property, which sits along the west side of Shelburne Road at Penny Lane. The park houses 64 mobile homes owned by 54 people.

The property value assessed by the town is $1.25 million. Dale Arango, CFO of Lake Champlain Ferries, which is owned by the Pecors, said the property was recently appraised around $2.4 million.

It’s “a very high price for a mobile home park,” said Jonathan Bond, director of the mobile home program at the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity.

Residents of the park have been paying $250 a month of rent, they also pay part of their property taxes. For each mobile unit there is an additional $15,000 miscellaneous assessed values added to their property taxes, resident Chris Pratt said.

“Nobody can yank a trailer without damaging it,” explaining that he would lose about $80,000 that he has invested over time into his property. Pratt would have to start from scratch to rebuild; finding an affordable place to live is an added challenge.

“My intention when I moved here was to die here,” Pratt said. He figures it was others’ intentions as well. “It just seems like the deck is so stacked.”

Pratt received the formal letter from the Pecors on June 28. That letter legally sets into motion an opportunity for mobile home owners to potentially buy the land.

“At this point in the process it does provide an opportunity for residents to purchase the park. There will be a community meeting in the next few weeks for residents to get their questions answered and decide what they want to do,” Pratt said.

At the meeting residents will decide what the next steps are, and if they pursue buying the park as a cooperative 50 percent of the owners will have to sign a petition. If they get the signatures it gives residents 120 days to pursue purchasing the property by forming a cooperative and securing financing. The process gives residents a total of 165 days to pursue a purchase of the property.

“It is the Pecors’ full intention to sell the property back to the mobile home owners. The park has consistently one of the lowest rents in the state and in Chittenden County,” Arango said. The park has been in the family for three generations. Trey Pecor now owns it.

“The intention right now is to give the homeowners the opportunity to own their own park and direct their future,” Arango said. “This is not a close-and-sell-to-the-highest-bidder scenario.”

The cooperative formula has worked for other Vermont mobile home parks, like Shelburne Wood and North Ave. Co-Op, Bond said.

It does, however, come down to residents being able to afford it.

He added that his office has previously worked with residents at the Lakeview Mobile Home Park.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with residents,” Bond said. “There is a lot of leadership in the community. It’s going to come down to their ability to afford the property.

“It’s too early to be anything but optimistic.”

Still, residents are intimidated by the asking price.

The terms and conditions of the sale requires a 20 percent down payment at signing of a purchase agreement, and the balance would be due at closing.

“There should be more morality here – you are a multimillionaire and you are displacing (potentially) hundreds of us,” Pratt said.

5 Responses to "Mobile home park for sale, residents could lose homes"

  1. Sean Moran   July 6, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Such statements from a resident who has been in the park for a few years Mr Pratt – try interviewing someone who’s been there for 10-20-30- how about 58 years, since 1961 before the park was incorperated! The Pecors have kept a beautiful park, with a million dollar view- AT A RESONABLE RENT for over 50 years- and there are many residents happy to have the chance to own it! Lets not kid ourselves- a private sale? bulldozed and evicted in a heartbeat, that means move your home or walk away. How’s that for life.

    Reply
  2. Chris Pratt   July 8, 2018 at 10:01 am

    I find it amazing that the only one who has voiced a concern comes from a quasi employee of LCT. Sean is an owner resident too. I do not know how long he has been here but two years and two properties qualifies me to have an opinion. The letters that these interviews were based on were sent to the residents to hopefully clear up any onfusion. I wrote to park residents to hopefully clear up and confusion

    Furthermore Sean you were at the meeting at my trailer with Debbie Foley and Trey Pecor discussing what I thought was a tree plating. At that meeting Trey heard I was having a block party. Remember?

    Trey leaned forward into my face in an intimating way and he said. “Chris let me make it clear. I own this park. You will not write to the residents, produce a website or attempt to organize the residents here in any way. Am I making myself clear or do I have to put it in writing”? My reply was yes put it in writing.

    The wonderful views that you mention are almost exclusively from the car when you drive in. Very few residents and you know this Sean have any real lake views. Also the lot rent is low because infrastructure needs here have been ignored for 56 or is 58 years?

    The new owners which I hope will be the park residents need to be aware of potentially huge bills for water, septic, electrical and road work that they could be hit with. Such repairs plus financing Trey’s buyout could easily double or triple our rent. Just trying to give people a heads up.

    Chris Pratt

    Reply
  3. James Raymond   July 15, 2018 at 11:31 am

    It would be nice for you to get some points of view other than one of someone who has been in the park for a year or two. While some make some valid points there are many of us that have lived hear for many, many years and would like to continue to live, not die here. This park is one of the nicest parks in the area and has given us the chance to raise our children in one of the nicest towns in the area. A town we frankly wouldn’t have been able to afford to live in had it not been for this park. The affordable situation also helped us get through some tough times, times that could have very well put us on the street had we had a higher home mortgage or rent. While everyone has their right to their opinions, some seem to be spreading fear and causing the majority of the peaceful residents in this neighborhood unnecessary consternation. There are definitely some improvements and upgrades that need to be made, but that would be true no matter where you live. Mr. Pecor does have some responsibility for that and we should not be left holding the bag on making all the upgrades on our own. The constant letters we have been receiving from a couple of the parks more outspoken residents have been concerning as they are expressing only one point of view. Instead of putting peoples minds at ease, they have fed into the fears many of us feel and made difficult situation worse. We should wait until we have the meeting with the state later this month so we have all the facts and can make an educated decision based on actual information. We will be putting much of our faith in the State, which can feel scary given the way some things in this state are handled, but it is what it is. Lashing out at Mr Pecor or each other will accomplish nothing. At least this gives us a chance to keep our homes. Moving isn’t an option for most of these units and even if we could it isn’t like towns in the area have new parks opening as there is a definite stigma attached to “trailer” parks. These are not trailers, these are homes. Just like every other neighborhood in this town we are friends, our children ride the same buses to school and we shop at the same stores. We all work together to make up a pretty great town. Mr. Pecor could have come in and said we have 18 months to move and most of us would have to walk away and try to start over from scratch, which would be a setback from which many would not recover. Please continue to cover this story, but be sure to show all sides of the story and paint an accurate picture of the residents of this Shelburne neighborhood and what they are going through.

    Reply
  4. Sean Moran   July 17, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Your imagining of a meeting with Mr Pecor is indeed a fantasy…..once again your facts are in your head Chris.

    Reply
  5. Vivian Jordan   July 17, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    I became a co-owner/resident in the park 5 years ago. I felt fortunate then, as I do now. In the past I reported several problems to the management. All were dealt with civilly and to my satisfaction.

    I have Mr. Pratt’s two letters in front of me.
    Both are rife with speculation about the condition and future of the park, and with negativity toward Mr. Pecor.

    Mr. Pratt is fully entitled to state his opinions. However, I can’t help but wonder why he bought two units here in the past 2 and 1/2 years, and recently tried to buy a third…if the park is in such terrible shape and the management so inhumane.

    But differing opinions aside, the park is in a prime location. If we don’t buy it, someone else will. How many people who could afford the selling price will want to own and run a trailer park? My guess is, none…they’d turn around and sell it for twice what Mr. Pecor is asking and put up high-rent housing. Then where are we? Even if our monthly monetary output doubles (which I doubt it will), it would still be a bargain compared to having nothing, with nowhere to go.

    I, along with many other residents, am grateful to the Pecor family, and to Debbie, for all that we have here. I’ll take this opportunity to publicly thank them and wish them well.

    Vivian Jordan

    Reply

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