FLAGSTAFF, AZ - A Georgia company's plan to build multifamily housing for Northern Arizona University students spells trouble for the low-income residents of a trailer park that now occupies part of the site.
Residents of Arrowhead Village have been told that the project, which is awaiting rezoning approval by the city, would force them out, the Arizona Daily Sun (http://bit.ly/1gbU3KU ) reported.
Andrew Young, senior vice president of development of Athens-based Landmark Properties, said he did not want to comment on the trailer park part of the proposed project.
But he said the company wants to build two multistory buildings of varying heights, targeting university students.
"We have properties under contract," Young said. "The school is excited about it. We are excited about the market."
Residents say their trailers are too old and fragile to move and that the relocation money mentioned so far wouldn't stretch far enough.
"We're not going to have a place to move to if we have to lose our trailer," said Roberto Soto, whose family has lived in the park for two decades.
Another resident, Edilburto Alvarez, said he bought his trailer a year ago.
"To rent an apartment would cost about $1,000 a month, including all the bills," Alvarez said. "That's a lot of money."
Flagstaff Vice Mayor Carol Evans said the trailer park's residents are some of the most impoverished in the northern Arizona city.
Evans said one of the developer's representatives at a recent meeting told residents he thought they could get everything done and be able to issue a notice to the park residents by Dec. 26 that they must vacate in 180 days.
"I was horrified that they would give someone that type of notice the day after Christmas," Evans said. "I was horrified at the delivery that they spent the majority of the time selling the project to people who could never afford it."