The owners of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park in Palo Alto will not accept a $14.5 million offer by residents to purchase the property, persons close to the deal said.
The residents wanted to stop the park's demolition -- and their eviction.
The property owner, the Jisser family, has a contract with developer Prometheus Real Estate Group, who would acquire the site at 3980 El Camino Real for an estimated $30 million -- if the city approves a zoning change. Prometheus wants to build 180 high-end apartments on the roughly 4.25-acre parcel.
Residents and fair-housing advocates have sought to preserve the park or to find comparable housing in Palo Alto for the nearly 400 residents. Attorneys for the residents say proposed compensation packages for their clients from the Jissers are inadequate. The city must sign off on the compensation before eviction can take place.
The Buena Vista Mobile Home Park Residents Association made the offer on Aug. 13 to purchase the property in its appraised as-is condition. Money from state and federal programs could cover the price tag, said Deane Sargent, a real-estate broker who has been working with the Buena Vista homeowners and specializes in helping residents purchase their mobile-home parks.
But on Sept. 10, attorneys for the residents received a rejection letter. The group anticipated being turned down, Sargent said.
"Our purchase price works for the as-is value of the park, which is considerably less than what the Jissers think they can get if they close the park," he said.
Despite the rejection, the group remains committed to buying the property should the Jissers or Prometheus have a change of mind, he said.
"Our goal has been to make the owners aware that there is a clear alternative," he said.
Joe Jisser has said little in the past other than that he remains committed to his contract with Prometheus.
Erika Escalante, president of the residents association, and attorneys for the group could not be reached for comment.