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NEWPORT BEACH : Mobile Home Park Land Bid Dropped

Residents of the Bayside Village Mobile Home Park on Monday gave up their latest bid to buy the land beneath their coaches for $12 million.

With a deadline looming today, attorneys for residents of the seniors-only park withdrew their request that Newport Beach issue bonds to help finance a deal with the Irvine Co., which owns the land.

City officials indicated that they did not want to lend their name to a bond issue, fearing that if residents were to default on payments, the city’s credit rating would be blemished, Mayor Clarence J. Turner said during Monday’s council meeting.

It now appears that the Irvine Co. will sell the land to De Anza Assets Corp. of Beverly Hills, which owns the lease on the land and has already notified residents of rent increases that will go into effect in January, officials said.

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“We have told the residents . . . that we would prefer to sell the land to them,” Tom Redwitz, Irvine Co. vice president of development, told the City Council.

On behalf of the 265 mobile-home owners, Turner on Tuesday asked the Irvine Co. to extend the deadline, but to no avail.

The Irvine Co. will sell the rental park today to DeAnza Assets for $7.8 million, company spokesman Larry Thomas said.

The deal stipulates that DeAnza must continue using the land as a mobile home park.

Thomas said the purchase agreement with DeAnza includes a clause to allow residents to buy the land and its lease if they can secure financing within one year.

Residents told the council that unless they own the park, DeAnza will drive up rents and force many out of their homes. DeAnza has notified residents of its intention to increase some rents by 5% to 47%, depending on the lot. Rents on some spaces will decrease by about 5%.

Barry McCabe, president of DeAnza, has said his company is raising rents to reflect the market value of a space and does not intend to drive people out of the park.

Some residents came to the council chambers holding signs that read, “Don’t let us become homeless” and “Please save our homes.”

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One resident, Bil Gekas, said there is still some hope that they can find a lending agency.

“We are absolutely still trying,” Gekas said. “This is our homes, this is all we have.”


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