By MADELINE HUGHES
Shelburne’s Lakeview Mobile Home Park went co-op in February. The 7.39-acre mobile home park, which sits along the west side of Shelburne Road at Penny Lane, contains 64 homes owned by 54 people.
Lakeview Cooperative, Inc. bought the property from Lake Champlain Transportation Company for $1.84 million on Feb. 22. The asking price for the property was originally $2.4 million, according to a letter sent in July to the residents of the mobile home park.
The decision to create a co-op came as Lakeview residents were told that the Pecor family that owns Lake Champlain Transportation wanted to sell the property. The land had been in the Pecor family for three generations – it was bought in 1958, according to town land records.
“The Pecor family is extremely pleased with this outcome,” said Dale Arango, chief financial officer at the Pecor business Lake Champlain Transportation Company. “To have the ownership of this property transferred to the residents and to know they have a secure future is a wonderful outcome for all. It was a very smooth transition and we wish the residents much success in the future.”
The process to turn the mobile home park into a co-op began last summer when residents received notice of the sale. In August the residents voted to become a cooperative, and formed a board of directors to complete the process.
“We’ve worked our butts off since August to make sure this went through,” Sean Moran, interim president of the cooperative said. “We are thrilled. This was a very quick, clean sale as opposed to others. We were happy. Mr. Pecor could not have been lovelier, his one intent was to sell this to the tenants.”
Lakeview had a reputation as one of the lowest-rent mobile home parks in the state because the Pecor family wanted to keep it affordable. With the sale of the park, rent will go up because the cooperative has a $2.2 million mortgage, and has to save reserve funds.
“It was all voted on,” Moran said, explaining the process.
Cooperative members voted on a budget that would increase rent in the coming months as the mortgage has to start being paid back. They will continue to vote on budgets every year.
Changes to the area
The mobile home park was the first of the Pecor properties near the intersection of Penny Lane and Shelburne Road to undergo changes. In January, the owners of Champlain Lanes bowling alley on Shelburne Road announced they will be closing their doors in May.
The bowling alley is directly next to the mobile home park to the north. The two properties share an access to Shelburne Road.
The bowling alley has been around for 55 years ever since Raymond Longe and Ray Pecor Sr. decided to open it there. Pecor owned the land and built the building. Longe purchased the equipment and furnishings.
In 2018 Pecor’s grandson Trey, the current president of Lake Champlain Transportation Company, approached Longe’s grandson Randy Longe, the bowling alley’s co-owner, asking what the future could hold for the bowling alley, Longe told the Shelburne News in January.
“We would have to invest a considerable amount of money into the bowling alley, and they would have to invest a considerable amount of money into the building,” Longe explained. “It was not economically feasible to invest that type of money into a building we didn’t own.”
So, Longe decided to close the bowling alley this year.
During the Lakeview sale process Lake Champlain Transportation applied to the Shelburne Development Review Board for permission to change the boundary line between the mobile home park and the bowling alley parcel. In December, the board approved adjustment.
When asked about future plans for the bowling alley site Aragno said, “We do not have any plans to date.”