The Islander February 5th,2003

Sandpiper saved - at last and for all

By Rick Catlin Islander Reporter

 Break out the champagne!
Residents of the Sandpiper Mobile Resort in Bradenton Beach no longer have to worry about where they might be living in a few months.
A year-long effort by the resort's homeowners association to raise enough money to purchase the property from the Vorbeck Corporation has met its goal, according to association president Gordon Cleland, who spearheaded the fundraising efforts.

"The deal is done," said Cleland. "Everybody can rest comfortably tonight. Our plateau has been met."

The association raised approximately $5 million by selling shares in a private corporation to purchase and run the mobile home park as a money-making venture, he said.

A bank loan for the balance is now obtainable because the association met the bank's requirements.

The Vorbeck Corporation had told the association more than 12 months ago they had an offer from a developer to purchase the park and turn it into a condominium development. Under Florida law, residents at Sandpiper had the "right of first refusal" to come up with a matching offer within a year or face losing their homes.

"That's not going to happen now," said Cleland. "There won't be any high-rise condos at this location."

Shares are still available in the corporation, he added.

The official closing date on the purchase is March 27, Cleland said.

After the closing, Cleland said he'll have done what he set out to do for Sandpiper. "It's been my whole life for the last year. I've lived and breathed the purchase plan and I think I've done my share."

For information on shares in Sandpiper, contact Cleland at 779-1343.

Sandpiper Mobile Resort enjoys a beautiful bayfront location in Bradenton Beach with the Anna Maria Island Club condos across the street on the Gulf.
Islander Photo: Jack Elka