Transforming a ‘slum’ into town houses stirs emotions
Appeal Staff Writer
When real estate developers bought the Mountain View Mobile Home Park earlier this year, they acquired 40-year-old trailer homes, some without legal plumbing or complete roofs, many with a low-income resident in a desperate situation.
Before development partners Daniel Yslava and Dave Schoeppler can build affordable town homes on the one-acre lot, they had to settle with the mobile home residents, many of whom invested thousands into a home now worth nothing.
Rory Bloom, a 37-year-old warehouse manager, received his eviction notice in June along with about nine other residents of the Reeves Street mobile home park. He bought his 1961 single-wide manufactured home for $8,500 in October 2002. Bloom said he was frustrated when the new owner of the park, located south of SlotWorld, only offered him $800. He complained and received six months of free rent instead, a value of about $2,790.
“It’s not much, but this is my home,” Bloom said Tuesday while sitting outside his home at space No. 10. “It’s the closest thing to an ancestral homestead that I’ve ever had.”
He’s in the process of moving his family to another trailer home in Storey County. They are expecting their first child in April.
The Rodriguez family chose to demolish their home rather than leave it for the park owner to rent out, said Rosalia Rodriguez. Family members demolished space No. 8 themselves. Living on low incomes already, some families can be shocked when they learn the value of their mobile homes sitting in parks.
“I would say it has a value of about minus $2,000,” said Mark Peterson, real estate investor and consultant for manufactured homes. “It really doesn’t have a value.”
The city requires all newly installed mobile and manufactured homes to be no more than 15 years old. People already within city limits, however, can move their older homes to facilities that will accept them.
“The value is where it’s sitting,” Peterson said. “It’s too bad, and it may be in decent condition. Some look really nice, but they still aren’t worth anything.”
The 3769 Reeves St. mobile home park still looks like a slum, the owners said, and that’s after they’ve invested to clean it up. Yslava bought the park in April 2006 for $465,000, according to assessor records. He’s renting some of the units out until he can build the town homes.
“I’m just trying to do what I can to make it somewhat clean and somewhat livable,” Yslava said. “The ones I can rent to pay the mortgage, I’m going to do it. I don’t have a gold pocket. I’ll rent up to the point when I start building, and then I’ll give them 60-days notice.”
Schoeppler, Yslava’s business partner, said they’ve offered to give mobile home park residents $25,000 discounts on the proposed town homes.
“And if they can’t qualify for the loan on their own, Daniel (Yslava) has offered to co-sign,” Schoeppler said.
Yslava plans to build 16 to 18 town homes for lower-income buyers on the property by sharing equity and then having them buy him out after two years.
“Even though (the housing market) is going down, if I make these homes affordable, I think people will still want to buy them,” he said. “Especially if they are energy efficient.”
Yslava , of San Jose, Calif., wants the homes to run on solar and hydrogen fuel cells. He does not yet have an estimated cost for the development.
Walt Sullivan, city director of planning and community development, said it could take a year for a development such as this to make it through the planning commission and city supervisors.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.