Dania Beach mobile home park residents buy out landlords

27-acre property had been in the Daniel family since 1915

Ocean Waterway mobile home park (Google Maps)
Ocean Waterway mobile home park (Google Maps)

Why rent when you can own?

Residents of a historic Dania Beach mobile home park bought the 27-acre property from their landlords for $7.8 million.

Records show Ocean Waterway Co-Op bought the mobile home park at 1500 Old Griffin Road from Amy Fletcher, James Branham, Dewey Daniel, and David Daniel III. The buying entity took out a $6.8 million mortgage from Genworth Life Insurance Company to finance the purchase.

Ocean Waterway Co-Op is the non-profit cooperative body maintained by the residents of the Ocean Waterway Mobile Home Park. Records show Ocean Waterway Co-Op terminated a lease that had been in place since 1967, originally with Henrietta and K. Salmon. Fletcher, Branham, Dewey and David Daniel inherited the property from the Salmons.

According to Ocean Waterway Co-Op President Jacques Letendre, the sellers are the heirs of the Daniel family. The Daniel family was established in Dania Beach in 1915 by Russell Daniel, when he built the home that today houses the Ocean Waterway Mobile Home Park office, according to Dania Beach’s website. The building received historic designation in 2005, the city’s website says.

Letendre said the Ocean Waterway community is made up of mostly French Canadian snowbirds of retirement age. The mobile home park’s website says it has 269 units, and 197 of them belong to shareholders in the co-op, and accommodates both French and English speakers.

According to Letendre, shareholders were increasingly concerned about the ramifications of hurricanes for the park, and they wanted the security of ownership.

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“When the land you’re standing on is yours, [it] is always better than when it’s rented,” he said.

He also said Ocean Waterway shareholders watched nervously last year as other mobile home parks in the area closed. Developers have frequently targeted mobile home parks for redevelopment.

“That created quite a bit of insecurity on the part of our membership,” he said.

It prompted Ocean Waterway’s residents to start seriously looking into breaking the lease and buying the land, leading to long talks with the Daniel heirs. Letendre said the 46 years remaining on the lease offered the co-op a “privileged position” in negotiations, and he believes the residents got a good deal for the property. The price equates to about $287,000 per acre.

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Letendre said investors have shown interest in the land, but for now the mobile home park will continue to operate as is.

This month, Longpoint paid $16 million for a 6-acre former trailer park near Miami International Airport for potential redevelopment. In February, Sergio Pino and Treo partnered to redevelop a Florida City mobile home park into townhomes, paying $6.5 million for the property.

Still, investors have purchased other trailer parks to maintain. A pair of California companies bought the Holiday Ranch Mobile Home Park in West Palm Beach for $39.1 million this month.