Residents in a mobile home park in St. Petersburg, Florida happen to think where they live is more important than one more Wal-Mart supercenter. Sprawl-Busters received the following report from a mobile home resident who thinks Wal-Mart should be the mobile one — not them: “I live in a small Mobile Home Park(very clean and well kept) 122 mobile homes.The Park is a Coop bought by 40 of the residents.The rest pay rent to the coop.Wal-Mart has a tentative ($10,000 on the table) agreement to purchase this land to build a SuperCenter. Surveying has been completed and they have at the present moment not applied for rezoning.Wal-Mart met with 1/4 of the people in the summer (when we were mostly all north) and they want us to be quiet so that the store will go through. The Coop is going to receive $8 million for the Park — or $114,000 per share. Wal-Mart is going to put the renters out on the street within 6 months if they get their way. We the renters, plus one share-holder, do not want to move.
Companies like Wal-Mart and Home Depot have often selected mobile home parks for big box stores because the feeling seems to be that the rest of the community will not see the site as a neighborhood of families, but just “those trailers.” But seniors in places like San Juan Capistrano and Santa Rosa, California have pushed back the developers and kept their homes. For the Santa Rosa story, see the 1999 article “Home Towns, Not Home Depot” on this website, and search the Newsflash database by “mobile homes” for similar stories about corporate land grabs of trailer parks.