MN appeals court backs new owners of St. Anthony mobile home park

An abandoned trailer in Lowry Grove.
A trailer with the siding ripped off sits in Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park in St. Anthony, Minn. on Oct. 16, 2016.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2016

The Minnesota Appeals Court on Monday backed the new owners of Lowry Grove Mobile Home Park in St. Anthony in an ongoing dispute between owners and residents over the site's future.

Residents of the park had challenged the sale of the property to a developer last summer, arguing that under Minnesota law they had a right to buy the property and keep the park open. The appeals court ruling dismissed that claim , but said the park residents may be entitled to more money beyond the cost of their homes.

Traci Tomas listens to Marisol Merino.
Traci Tomas, far left, president of Continental listens as Lowry Grove resident Marisol Merino, far right, speaks at the City of St.Anthony Village City Council Meeting on Oct. 11, 2016.
Sam Harper | MPR News 2016

Traci Tomas, Vice President of The Village, LLC, the park's new owners, called the ruling a win that provides "finality for all parties."

But Alan Arthur, CEO of the nonprofit developer Aeon, which is working with the residents, also saw good in the ruling, pointing to how the court said residents may be more compensation. Residents will use the compensation process to keep pushing for a purchase and a Minnesota Supreme Court appeal is a possibility, he added.

"We have options that we will be weighing with the residents and with our attorneys," Arthur said.

The case now returns to the lower court for further consideration. The park is set to close June 30.

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