Guilford County mobile home park sale put on hold

by Jordan Green

A plan by America’s largest owner of manufactured housing communities to unload five mobile home parks in Guilford County last December was put on hold when the company apparently failed to get the price it hoped in a national auction.

A Dec. 21, 2005 YES! Weekly article about the auction contained erroneous information. A day after the Dec. 15 auction Jim MacDonnell, executive managing director of the Sheldon Goode auction firm in Chicago, indicated that the five mobile home parks had changed ownership.

‘“I think it was sold to another manufactured home operator rather than a redevelopment interest,’” he said. ‘“The pricing was in line with the other sales, which were manufactured home operators.’”

That turned out to not be true, Associate Vice President Jerry Bohaboy told the newspaper on Feb. 23. The mobile home parks remain under the ownership of Colorado-based Affordable Residential Communities, or ARC.

‘“There was an auction on December fifteenth,’” Bohaboy said. ‘“The seller had the right to accept or reject the offer and I bet the seller did not accept. That’s the sequence of it.’”

Bohaboy suggested there was still a possibility the properties would be sold.

‘“What the future holds is in ARC’s hands,’” he said. ‘“I think they’re probably analyzing it.’”

Sheila Brewington, a regional vice president for ARC in Raleigh, did not respond to a request for comment on the company’s plans for its Guilford County properties.

The five communities in question are Autumn Forest in Brown Summit, and Gallant Estates, Oakwood Forest, Village Park and Woodlake in Greensboro. Between them, the five parks encompass 1,416 home sites.

Since the time of the deferred sale, residents and property managers have reported rents increasing by a range of 5 to 13 percent, and new fees for garbage pickup being imposed. Both residents and managers have expressed fears of reprisal if they spoke on the record.

ARC has struggled to find new properties for acquisition and opportunities for economic growth in recent years, according to the company’s 2004 annual report. ARC’s shareholders suffered a $94.7 million loss that year.

– Jordan Green