A great article from MSNBC about a waterfront trailer park in Palm Beach County. If they agree to get bought out by a developer, they'll get over a HALF-BILLION dollars for their little 43 acres of paradise.
'BRINY BREEZES, Fla. - The owners of nearly 500 mobile homes in one of the last waterfront trailer-park towns in South Florida stand to become instant millionaires if they agree to sell to a developer. But some are holding out, saying there are things more important than money.
“You just can’t buy a way of life,” said Tom Byrne, a 68-year-old retired sales executive from New York who doesn’t want to sell even though he would make a little over $1 million on the trailer and site he bought two years ago for $150,000. “This is my home.”'
Okay - the first question is - what kind of land are they sitting on?
'With 600 feet of oceanfront property and an additional 1,100 feet along the Intracoastal Waterway, real estate like this in southeastern Florida is pure gold.
Boca Raton-based Ocean Land Investments has big plans for the property if the deal goes through, as many residents are certain will happen. The company envisions about 900 low-rise multimillion-dollar condo units, a high-end marina and a 300-room luxury hotel.
“There really is no other piece of property like this in Florida,” said Logan Pierson, the company’s vice president of acquisitions.'
And a view from an owner who wants to "Sell, sell, SELL! Like NOW!".
'Kevin Dwyer, 47, is all for the deal. Dwyer, who paid just $37,500 for his trailer nine years ago, would make about $800,000.
“See these pockets? They’re empty,” Dwyer said, a stack of unpaid bills sitting on a table in his single-wide trailer less than 100 yards from the ocean. “I’ve nickeled and dimed my whole life. I hit the lottery.”
Pierson acknowledged that the loss of Briny Breezes means a piece of old Florida will be gone forever. But he said that because of the town’s location on a barrier island, a hurricane could eventually wipe out Briny Breezes.
“At some point Briny is going to face a bad storm,” he said. “There are other potential threats out there other than development.”'
And is this really a good idea for the developer, being on the ocean?
'Palm Beach County Commissioner Mary McCarty is not so sure it’s a done deal because of constraints on zoning, water, sewage and traffic. “I find the developers extremely optimistic to the point of being delusional,” she said.
For one thing, the community is in a hurricane evacuation zone and has few ways in or out. Developers will have to clear their plans through the state before any dirt is moved, and neighboring communities will have a chance to weigh in.
“This would be extremely complicated and extremely unpopular,” McCarty said. “But people see dollar signs and it sparks the imagination.”'
(Many thanks to SKB for finding this.)
Finally, a "Happy 2007!" to all our readers and posters. 2006 was a break-through year - let's keep up the fight and make 2007 the year that EVERYBODY discovers the truth about the fantasy of a bubble market.