Lowry Grove mobile home park gets 3-month extension

An abandoned trailer in Lowry Grove.
A trailer with the siding ripped off sits in the Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park in St. Anthony in October.
Evan Frost | MPR News

The deadline for closing the Lowry Grove mobile home park in St. Anthony, Minn., has been pushed back until the end of the school year. The news came late Thursday afternoon when The Village LLC announced that it had moved the closure date from March 15 to June 30, 2017.

The Village purchased the park in June with plans to redevelop the 15-acre parcel into a series of apartment buildings and townhouses, which requires approximately 90 households to relocate.

Many residents of the park contested the sale to The Village, claiming it denied them their legal right to buy the park themselves and keep it open. A court case on that subject remains open.

Residents also filed complaints with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Fair Housing Act, contesting the sale.

While the court case and HUD investigation continue, many Lowry Grove residents have since left the park; as of October, nearly a third of the homeowners had moved or made plans to move.

For families still living in the park who have children in the St. Anthony-New Brighton School District, the extended closure date may bring some relief. Many had expressed anxiety about pulling their children out in the middle of the year.

Traci Tomas, vice president of The Village, said in an emailed statement that keeping children in their schools was the goal of the extension:

"During our ongoing conversations with the school district about options to ensure school age children would be able to complete the school year without changing schools, we learned it would be even more beneficial to allow them to remain in their homes through the end of the school year.

"We offered to delay the park closure three months as a way of easing the impact the closure will have on the residents and their children. I am proud that open lines of communication led to this agreement with the residents."

Correction (Dec. 23, 2016): An earlier version of this story included a photo caption with the wrong date. The photo was taken in October. The story has been updated.

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