Vol 5 No. 20- February 2, 2005
Sandpiper Mobile Resort co-op thrives
By Louise Bolger
SUN STAFF WRITER
When John Ringling built the Sandpiper Mobile
Park in 1934 for his circus employees and performers, he probably
had no idea that Anna Maria Island would turn into one of Floridas
most expensive coastal Meccas or did he?
In April it will be two years that the residents of this unique
Bradenton Beach community achieved what was at first considered
unachievable, they raised the money to purchase almost ten acres
of prime waterfront property. The organizers created a co-op and
offered 120 shares for sale between $62,500 and $77,500. Enough
of these shares were sold to raise the five million dollars required
to proceed with financing on the almost ten million dollar sale.
Shares are still available to purchase from the Sandpiper association,
as are homes and shares that can be purchased from individual homeowners
in the park. The Sandpiper is a 55 plus community with about 30
percent full time residents.
The current available homes with shares range in price from $68,000
to $199,000. Last year, in addition to many sales of shares, there
was a $195,000 sale of a home and share.
Monthly maintenance is $325, and both seasonal and annual rentals
are available. Financing for mobile homes can be difficult to find,
and the majority of buyers pay cash.
Since the conversion, homeowners have undertaken extensive renovations,
and modular prefab homes are starting to appear. The common areas
of the park have been upgraded and now include a clubhouse with
kitchen facilities, library, shuffleboard courts and laundry facilities.
In addition, previous boat docks located along the 600 feet of waterfront
on the bay, are about to be rebuilt and sold as shares to residents.
But what may be the biggest perk of all is a beach right of way
directly across Gulf Drive. There is an on-site office and web-site
www.sandpiperresortcoop.com for more information.
John Ringling was a visionary and so were the residents of the Sandpiper,
they not only wanted to save their homes, but also saw the potential
of this fine piece of property. Thank God for the visionaries of
the world, without them we would all be living in high rises.
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