Mobile home park deal salvaged

Residents must pay an additional $850,000 to an offshore investor.

Islander Mobile Home Park residents met a paperwork deadline yesterday to buy their downtown Winslow property.

Residents still must produce the purchase funds – including an extra $850,000 above the original asking price – by Oct. 15, but residents are confident the deal will finally go through.

“It’s amazing that we managed to patch this together in time,” said resident Bill Isley.

Residents had to come up with $850,000 on top of the property’s $5.5 million purchase price to buy out an investor backing island developer Kelly Samson.

Residents missed their initial Sept. 20 deadline to purchase the property from Samson, who held a purchase option on the property from longtime owner Pat Alderman. Samson had promised the property to Tahiti-based investors had residents failed to meet the deadline.

“We felt ambushed to some degree,” said resident Jackie Terry. “There was no fudge room with the Sept. 20 deadline. That’s what got us in trouble. We thought this was a neighborly kind of deal.”

But Samson and mediators in the proceedings agreed that residents were notified of the investor group well in advance.

Terry said this week she places no blame on Samson. “We don’t think Kelly’s a bad guy – he’s a businessman,” she said.

The park will shrink from 60 spaces to about 50, and Samson will redevelop the northern strip.

The price hike will add costs as residents pay off loans. Residents had hoped to cap monthly rent at $600, but will likely see rent rise 3 percent each year, Isley said.

“It’s been a relay race,” Isley said, commending mediators, lawyers, lenders and community members who worked nonstop to make the deal happen. “Without them we couldn’t have done it.”

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