Developer Eager to Replace Old Mobile Homes with New Manufactured Homes

The Rapid City Journal reports from South Dakota that while a veteran developer’s plan to replace aging factory-built homes with new manufactured homes is a noble idea, the project falls short of meeting city codes. Bob Akers bought Deluxe Mobile Home Park and other MHCs from a bank after the properties had been foreclosed. He wants to replace 75 of the units at Deluxe with 100 two-story manufactured homes to sell to low-income residents through a government housing program. The previous owner had incurred several code violations for neglecting the property. “These old mobile home parks are just junk. We’ve got people falling through the floors. It’s sad,” said Akers, whose most recent project was building a Hilton Hotel. But Brett Limbaugh, director of the city’s Growth Management Department, said the plan Akers submitted does not allow enough room for parking, sidewalks, and drainage, and would present a utility right-of-way problem. While praising the developers’ intentions, Limbaugh noted many cities encounter obstacles in redeveloping older MHCs. Responding to the city’s suggestion that he build multiunit housing, Akers said that would be too expensive. His intention is to bring in several new manufactured homes at a time from his manufacturing facility in Hot Springs, South Dakota. “We’re trying to do it in a way to satisfy (the city) and me both,” he said.

photo credit: Rapid City Journal

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