A Utah-based company recently purchased three local mobile home parks for nearly $23 million, and the new managers say their goal is to fill the parks up and keep the residents happy.
In late December, Kingsley Management Corp. of Provo, Utah, purchased MacLeod’s on Riverleigh Avenue in Riverside for $15.5 million, Riverhaven Park on Hubbard Avenue in Riverhead for $3.66 million and Lakewood Park on River Road in Calverton for $3.6 million.
The grand total: $22.76 million, according to Suffolk Research Service.
The three parks were all owned by MacLeod’s, which had owned the larger Riverside park that bears their name since 1963, and bought the other two parks in 1999.
Riverhaven and Lakewood were previously called Roll-In Mobile Home Park, and were owned by the Hargis family, who sold them to MacLeod’s.
Kingsley Management Corp. owns more than 50 mobile home communities nationwide, but this is its first venture in the Northeast.
The company has no plans to sell any of the parks, according to Norm Sorensen, the Kingsley’s account manager in Utah.
“We’re in it for the long haul,” he said Tuesday. “You see some people will buy a park and tried to flip it. Our company predominantly doesn’t sell parks. I’ve been with the company for 10 years and I haven’t seen them ever sell a park.”
And so far, residents who had been critical of MacLeod’s over the years appear to be happy with the new owners, according to Pauline Sandman, president of the MacLeod’s homeowners association.
“Right now, everyone is on cloud nine,” she said.
The residents recently received new leases calling for a 20 percent increase in the rentals on their property, but Ms. Sandman said that lease was drawn up by the prior owners and followed a decision last year to increase the monthly rents by $50 per mobile home.
John and Donna Peck are the new on-site managers for all three parks. John Peck said they hope to have the parks filled by this time next year.
Together, the three parks have 576 lots, 49 of which are currently vacant.
“When we got here, we got a feeling it was pretty badly managed,” Mr. Peck said. The residents didn’t like the MacLeods, he said.
“It was all over town,” he said. “It really made us nervous at first, but Kingsley doesn’t operate that way. If you look at all our properties, you won’t see any empties, because we know how to take care of our people.”
Mr. Peck said he’d heard that a lot of residents moved out of the parks because of the $50 rent increase.
“These people were in an uproar,” he said. “We don’t do that. We’re going to keep them happy.”
Kingsley plans to offer seven-year leases at the parks and to allow people to move into a handful of older homes owned by the park for just $1, while only paying rent and taxes for seven years. The park also owns about five newer homes that it plans to lease, with an option to buy after seven years at “well below cost,” Mr. Peck said.
The Pecks previously managed a Kingsley Park in San Diego, but Mr. Peck said he likes Riverside a lot better.
“This is like heaven to me,” he said. “The people are so nice, just way down to earth.”