Developer targeting city’s west side trailer park

The currently unoccupied West Side Mobile Home Park may soon be the site of new housing aimed at serving veterans and seniors. Once permits are acquired, redevelopment is expected to take six and a half months.

The new medical clinic on the west side of Tekamah may soon have some company.

A Fremont developer approached Tekamah City Council Thursday night, seeking direction on renovating the West Side Mobile Home Park.

Dalton Williams, representing Marcum Rentals, said the company intends to purchase the site and expects to close the deal in about three weeks. The company plans to renovate the trailer park on the city’s western entrance, replacing the current five mobile homes with eight units, giving priority to veterans and seniors.

Williams said none of the mobile homes on the property now are occupied. The only resident on the property lives in the house nearby.

As a veteran himself, Williams said the two biggest impediments for returning servicemen are the lack of affordable housing and access to medical care.

“This project hit close to home for me,” he told the Plaindealer, “because there’s a medical clinic right across the road.”

The plan is to remove the uninhabitable trailers and replace them with new or modular units. One fourth of the new units will be handicap-accessible, Williams said. The site also will include a play area for children as well as a community-type space with picnic tables.

“The idea is to take a dilapidated area, rehab it and watch it run,” he said. “If money was no object, we’d replace the trailers with single-level duplexes, but we’re not set up like that.”

Rents will be capped at $550 a month to make them more affordable to limited income renters. He said a strict screening process will be used in order to reduce the amount of crime the area has seen recently. He said 112 police calls have been made to the trailer park over the last 10 years, ranging from domestic assaults to drug violations to an armed standoff.

“At the end of the day, our name is on that property,” he said. “It’s not good for business to have the same trouble that’s been there.”

Williams told the Plaindealer Marcum is considering similar projects in several area towns. He said he learned of the local site through former Tekamah man Jay Harris and that 90 percent of the materials needed for renovation would be purchased in Burt County.

Once the necessary permits are secured, Williams said it should take six and a half months to get the property renovated. But the first tenants may be living there sooner. He said units would be completed, and rented, one at a time. Doing so gives the company the chance to have revenue coming in while the work is being completed.

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