Settlement Finally Reached in Mobile Home Park Sale Battle

For the past few weeks here at The McAnuff Group we have been following the developing news story surrounding Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park. As reported this afternoon, a settlement has finally been reached. Residents were displaced and a charitable fund was set up to help them, and the settlement will ensure that at least some of the land is utilized for more affordable housing by the developer. The Star Tribune reported the details, below, this afternoon.

Image source: The Star Tribune

August 02, 2017 - 1:28 PM

A settlement agreement announced this week appears to mark the end of a heated legal battle over the sale and closure of St. Anthony’s only mobile home park.

The developer that bought Lowry Grove joined two nonprofits working with former residents, as well as other involved groups, in notifying city leaders about the settlement in an Aug. 1 letter.

Park owners sold Lowry Grove to the developer last year, sparking a flurry of litigation and court rulings that tested a state law governing such sales. The Village, an affiliate of Wayzata-based Continental Property Group, bought the park for $6 million and closed it June 30 for redevelopment.

A key part of the legal settlement is a provision that aims to help residents who were displaced from Lowry Grove, which once held nearly 100 homes. Some homeowners moved to different mobile home parks, while others had yet to figure out permanent housing in the final hours before Lowry Grove’s closure.

The Village has agreed to make an undisclosed “six-figure donation” to a new charitable fund dubbed the “Lowry Grove Resident Support Housing Fund.”

“As I have said from the beginning, I am committed to helping Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park residents through this tough time,” Traci Tomas, vice president of The Village, said in a statement.

The agreement also brings the nonprofit developer Aeon on board to handle an affordable housing component of the project that will replace Lowry Grove. The Village’s proposed project also includes market-rate apartments, senior-focused housing and townhouses.

As part of the settlement, the Village will sell about 2 acres of the 15-acre project site to Aeon, which plans to build 110 units of affordable housing, pending city approval.

Aeon worked last year with residents to match The Village’s offer for Lowry Grove, which was rejected. The project marks the first time that Aeon has worked with The Village, according to Aeon President Alan Arthur.

“I think it’s a natural outcome,” Arthur said.


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