Residents at two mobile home parks on the Richmond Highway are once again facing changes to their homes.
Engleside Trailer Park and Ray’s Mobile Home Colony will be sold November 15 by current owners Ahora Company and Rapido Company to non-government real estate investment firm Pacific Current Partners.
This isn’t the first time RV park residents have organized to save their community. In 2020, they turned down a proposal to redevelop the 26 acres and increase density on the site. The proposal was part of the Fairfax County Site Specific Plan Amendment Process (SSPA).
Finally, on January 26, 2021, the board voted to move forward with the proposal for a further investigation, but only with significant revisions, including a 1:1 replacement of affordable housing already on the site and other recommendations resulting from the task of Maintaining affordable housing is a force, in part due to the awareness of RV park residents. During the meeting, Chairman Jeff McKay recognized the unique difficulties mobile home residents face when investing in a depreciable asset located on land they will never own.
The parks will also face impacts from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s upcoming widening of the Richmond Highway, including a loss of 54 feet between houses and the highway, a change in road grade and the removal of 14 buildings.
Local residents are mobilizing to stop the sale
Mobile home park residents were surprised to learn in September this year that their parks had been sold for $24.2 million to West Coast-based real estate investment firm Pacific Current Partners. Pacific Current Partners specializes in owning and managing manufactured homes and mobile home communities, according to its website.
With help from Tenants and Workers United (TWU), an Alexandria-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting social justice, residents scrambled to come up with their own bid. They were able to find a nonprofit buyer, but the short timeframe, complicated process, and high price of Pacific Current Partners’ bid meant their efforts weren’t enough to prevent the sale, which is expected to happen on November 15.
Residents have raised concerns about what the new property could mean for their community, such as potential rent increases or evictions. Residents also hope that their experience at the local and state levels will lead to improvements in the process of coordinating and presenting a competing bid to residents for future mobile home park sales.
Mobile home park residents, Tenants and Workers United and the Legal Aid Justice Center will host a press conference at 10:30 a.m. at 8501 Richmond Hwy., Alexandria, VA 22309 with details of the sale, efforts and residents’ concerns.