Niagara Gazette

Crime

November 12, 2012

Another fire at Sabre Park

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — "It's a very dangerous situation for our firefighters," Jasper said.

Macerich Partnership, L.P. bought the mall last summer for $200 million. The company acquired a $6.4 million lien on the mobile home park last year. It then purchased the Sabre Park land at a foreclosure auction for $4 million through a subsidiary called Fashion Outlets II, LLC.

In an emailed statement, a Fashion Outlets spokesperson said, “The safety of the residents living at the property is our top priority and the cause of today's fire will be diligently investigated. We are working with state procedures to properly demolish the homes as they are vacated.”

At the end of October, remaining Sabre Park tenants received written notice confirming what trailer owners suspected — the new owners would not continue to operate the property as a mobile home park long-term and, as a result, they would be forced to leave.

The notice, from Fashion Outlets II, LLC, informed tenants that the company “decided to change the use of this property” and that is is required by law to inform all tenants. The letter added that the tenants would need to “seek other accommodations and move out of the park.”

The notice further stated that all current leases would be honored, but that tenants who do not keep up on rent would be subject to eviction and would be responsible for a portion of the company’s attorney fees if litigation was necessary.

Another document was circulated by an agent working as property manager at the site, which offered a buy-out for tenants who were willing to vacate by March 1, 2013.

In exchange for an early exit, the notice suggested the new property owners would not require tenants to continue paying rent and would checks for $800 apiece after they left. Tenants were informed that they needed to decide whether to take the deal by Nov. 10. 

When asked what he'd like to see happen to prevent fires at the site in the future, Jasper said he'd like the new property owners to move as quickly as possible to evict all remaining tenants and clear the lot of any remaining vacant trailers.

"Just get it done and over with if you are going to evict them," Jasper said. 

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