Total transformation - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Total transformation

'Power corner' changing from trailer park to development ready

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 12:00 am

POST FALLS - Most of the trailers have been torn down at the former El Rancho Mobile Home Park that has been at Highway 41 and Mullan Avenue for the past 50 years.

Now a new era awaits at what has evolved into one of the busiest intersections in North Idaho.

Rod Plese, an owner of the 8.7-acre parcel, said the prime site is on the fast track to be developed into a shopping center.

Plans call for a "big box" anchor store such as a grocery chain or home improvement retailer that's supported by a variety of smaller businesses such as a gas station, restaurant or bank, he said.

Plese (pronounced Please) said there has been a lot of interest, but no tenants have beenannounced.

"Several people have approached us, but nothing is for certain yet," he said, adding that he can't comment on which companies are looking.

Plese said a few of the park's residents held out on moving out until November. They were told to move out by July 31 when a six-month notice of the park's closure was issued to the residents late last January.

Many of the trailers couldn't be moved.

If the home was built before June 15, 1976, under state law, it must go through a rehabilitation process, which can be cost-prohibitive in some cases. If the home is being moved into a city from the county, the roof must also have a 40-pound snow load, which can also add to the cost, along with required permits.

After the remaining trailers are demolished, 23 septic tanks will need to be pumped and pulled from the ground, Plese said. Then the soil will need to be reworked and compacted.

"We're on the home stretch," Plese said. "Once we took the property over (in December 2011), we dealt with a lot of adversity."

Once the site work is complete, Plese said the plan is to request annexation into the city, which could come as soon as February.

"As the city, we look forward to the day of having the site cleared off to where a nice development can go in there," Mayor Clay Larkin said. "It's a power corner."

The site has had multiple owners in recent years and some residents earlier said they figured the property would someday be developed, although the date remained cloudy.

Bob Kirkpatrick, who owned the property for 29 years, and RMM Investments sold it about six years ago for $3.32 million to a group of developers/investors, including Vandervert Developments.

Facing inevitable development of the site, some residents moved out in recent years. But about 45 of the 70 lots were still occupied when the notice was issued. Some residents said they were under the impression they would still have a few years to live there, especially with the slow economy.

The investor group split more than a year ago when an agreement was struck involving both the trailer park site and the River City Plaza across Highway 41, which was developed by the same group.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • truthful1 posted at 9:26 am on Sun, Jan 13, 2013.

    truthful1 Posts: 554

    burn down the trailer park

  • efromm posted at 10:36 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    efromm Posts: 701

    Actually I would be elated! I don't mind the noise. I lived next to a saw mill in post falls most of my life. I would rather have the timber industry and mining here than service jobs. These people were hanging by a thread already. That was home to them. Condemning them for where they choose to live and how is ridiculous. You don't want them condemning you. No man is an island. This is what happens when tens of thousands of outsiders move in. Others get hurt and put out of their homes because the land they used to live on is more profitable to sell.

    Keven. It makes perfect sense. Why should we support those who do not support locals and are willing to put people out on the street. This town used to be locally owned and operated. Now it's for sale to the highest bidder. You never own your property even if you paid cash for it. The county can take it. Try not paying your taxes and lets see if you actually own your house.

    These people could not afford a nice home. This place was all about just getting by. When others decided to flee for greener pastures. It's low income people that got hurt the worst. The prices that they could not afford before have become so high that the trailer was the best they could do. I bet a lot of them are either homeless of living on state aid now. You got a home they got the homeless shelter. But hey it's not your problem that they are homeless now is it....

  • dtsinidaho posted at 8:52 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    dtsinidaho Posts: 250

    I bet if someone were to build a manufacturing site, you posters here would gripe about the increased traffic, the amount of noise and the tax breaks it takes to get them here. CDAMESS ONLINE... the home of the Pathological Negative Haters.

  • Keven Johnson posted at 8:35 am on Fri, Jan 11, 2013.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1476

    Seriously? Someone is upset this dump is gone? That park wasn't fit for human habitation 15 years ago, I can only imagine what it was like more recently. I question the viability of yet another shopping center, when so many have space available. But to boycott a business that locates there doesn't make much sense.

    The lesson that should be obvious to anyone is don't "buy" a home on rented land! C'mon, people, is that concept really that elusive? What did they think was going to ultimately happen?

  • taxpayer posted at 11:52 pm on Thu, Jan 10, 2013.

    taxpayer Posts: 343


  • efromm posted at 8:56 am on Thu, Jan 10, 2013.

    efromm Posts: 701

    I will make sure none of my dollars go into supporting this shopping center. Cause that is what is really needed there another shopping center. Where are the real jobs? We need more industry around here not shopping centers with minimum wage jobs. It's sad that all those people lost their homes. A real disgrace....

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard