Basalt trailer park sale postponed
July 19, 2011
BASALT – A nonprofit organization’s purchase of the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park was postponed for six weeks recently but the organization has taken over management of the property in the heart of Basalt.
The Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. (CDC) continues to on a plan to convert the trailer park into a campus where nonprofit groups can secure affordable office space, said Michael McVoy, CDC president. The closing of the deal was delayed so CDC could provide its lender with an appraisal, not because the deal is in jeopardy, he stressed. The sale is now scheduled for Aug. 12.
The Pan and Fork is home to 38 families and individuals. The trailer court is located on 5 acres next to the Roaring Fork River, stretching from the intersection of Two Rivers Road and Midland Avenue downvalley to nearly the Taqueria el Nopal restaurant.
CDC will buy the entire trailer park, then sell the half closest to the river to the town of Basalt. Roughly 19 trailers will be removed from that half and the land will be left as open space, according to McVoy and Basalt Town Manager Bill Kane.
CDC will retain the 2.5 acres closest to Two Rivers Road, remove the other 19 trailers and redevelop the land as the nonprofit campus.
Town studies have indicated half of the trailer park is imperiled by threat of a major flood. That portion of the trailer park won’t be developed; CDC will develop the land that is least threatened.
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Kane said in a recent public meeting that the town will pay $1.2 million and CDC will pay roughly $2 million in the deal. CDC is supported by the Manaus Fund, an organization founded by Woody Creek philanthropist George Stranahan.
The Pan and Fork is owned by RNR Ltd., whose principal is Basalt resident Renee Ritchie.
McVoy said CDC and RNR went ahead with the transfer of management of the trailer park on July 1 as planned even though the sale was postponed. He said CDC contracted with Garfield County Housing to manage the trailers, collect rents and handle issues raised by the tenants. CDC is “absolutely not” looking at raising rents, McVoy said.
“In the long run, we hope to be moving residents out of there,” McVoy said. The town and nonprofit organization are teaming on a plan to find replacement housing for the current tenants. The town land-use code requires that replacement housing must be found for 100 percent of the tenants. CDC is seeking an alternative site or sites for housing. Residents will be moved to replacement housing in 2012 at the earliest, McVoy said.
CDC’s goal is to submit a development plan for the site to Basalt by the end of this year. One potential tenant of the campus is Colorado Mountain College. It has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with CDC that states interest in the site, according to McVoy.