Approximately 108 trailer owners at Roy’s Trailer Park on Stock Island received notice Monday that the property at 6500 Maloney Ave. is being redeveloped into 240 workforce housing apartments, and they will need to relocate by December or January.
Brand new units have been reserved for Roy’s trailer owners at the nearby 280-unit Wreckers Cay apartment complex.
“We worked very hard with the developers of Wreckers Cay to get our trailer owners rights of first refusal at Wreckers Cay,” said Michael Browning, a Key West attorney who owns Roy’s Trailer Park and established a long-term lease agreement with the individual trailer owners 15 years ago to preserve their housing and keep their rent for their ground leases low.
“We have applied for rezoning permission with the county’s planning department to create about 240 units of workforce housing on the site,” Browning told the Keys Weekly on Monday. “So that application is in the planning process. “We put a lot of work into getting our owners at Roy’s into brand new units at Wreckers Cay. Obviously, not everyone is going to be happy, but we’re doing our best to give them a good option of a brand new place just down the street.”
The income restrictions for the new workforce housing that will replace Roy’s Trailer Park remain to be determined, Browning said.
Roy’s Trailer Park residents received notice of the pending relocation at noon on Monday.
“Unfortunately, after years of litigation with the County as a result of unauthorized additions to mobile home units, it has become evident that sustaining the property as a mobile home park is no longer possible. Therefore, as permitted by the lease, we are moving to redevelop the park as an affordable housing project,” the notice states. “What this means to you is that in the next six months, you will be required to relocate in advance of the demolition and redevelopment of the Park.”
Browning said the vast majority of Roy’s residents own their trailers, but not the land underneath the trailers.
“To make this transition easier for our residents, we have made arrangements with Wrecker’s Cay, the new affordable housing development right down the road,” the notice states. “Each mobile homeowner in the park will have the opportunity to enter into a lease to rent a new, energy- efficient apartment at monthly rents that are comparable to or potentially lower than what you are currently paying, based on your income.”
The notice directs trailer owners to either remove their trailer or sign it over to the park owners by Sept. 1 before moving to Wreckers Cay. The notice also requires Roy’s current trailer owners to continue paying their ground lease on time until the move is complete. It is unknown whether they will receive any compensation for those trailers, many of which cannot be moved or relocated.
“We understand the challenges these changes may create and have done our best to try and secure new, nearby housing for our residents,” states the notice that directs the owners to begin the application process at Wreckers Cay at wreckerscay.com.