American dream crushed? Kirkland families face eviction after sale of mobile-home park

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KIRKLAND, Wash. – Dozens of families in Kirkland are looking to find a new place to live after learning their mobile home park has been sold to a developer.

There are more than 30 mobile homes inside the Firwood Lane Mobile Home Park. The developer is planning to build high-end homes in a price range the people who live in the park say they can’t afford.

Residents said they’ve been given one year to move out. Some tell me when they do, they won’t have another place to go.

Rayu Batalla and her family hoped to lay down roots in the Firwood Lane Mobile Home Park.

After renting for years, Batalla purchased their mobile home in February for her family of eight. Her version of the American dream had become a reality -- but not for long.

Just days after buying her home, Batalla says she and her neighbors received a notice the mobile home park had been sold and everyone would be forced to move.

Among those upset is  Air Force veteran Ronald Brown, who has called the park home for a decade.

“I thought this would be the last place I’d ever live; I guess it ain’t going to be,” said Brown.

Brown and others say they knew the park was for sale but didn’t believe it would be developed. They even received a notice in 2013 that states:  “Our intent is to try and sell it to another mobile home park operator.”

Residents say in 2013 that they were also encouraged to make upgrades to their home. Some spent thousands of dollars doing so and believe it was misleading if the owners were just going to sell to a developer.

Listing agent Lee White tells Q13 FOX News that he tried to sell it to another mobile home park, but finally sold to a developer after years of trying. He believes the residents were given ample notice of the sale and the property owners’ intentions.

Second-generation resident Victor Smith believes the sale is a broken promise.

“I’m not happy about it,” said Smith. “We were always told that it would never be built on.”

 

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4 comments

  • Kathy Fritsch

    What a non-story. The owner is selling his property. He gave the renters a years notice. What did the writer expect the owner to do, give the money from the sale to the renters? Must be a slow news day. Move along folks. Nothing to see hear.

    • jerry

      Uh, in case you didn’t notice, these people PURCHASED their homes. so, yeah, they should have some reimbursement, especially those who, in good faith, upgraded their homes to help the landowner sell the park. Duh.

      • Linda

        Actually it was a good idea to try to upgrade homes in hopes that the buyer WOULD be a mobile home park and the owner tried. In the end highest and best use wins. If this had been a mobile home park zoning it would probably have worked out. It’s sad to see families displaced but property taxes in prime locations are just too high and rents can’t be raised high enough to justify keeping it that way. I wish more parks were being built but it is very prohibitive for developers.