Installation of 30 new manufactured homes at a revamped 1.44-acre mobile home park in downtown San Luis Obispo is underway, with plans to complete the project this summer, according to developer John Belsher.
The Downtown Terrace project is about mid-way through construction, with 15 homes already in place and under construction at 546 Higuera St.
Belsher envisions a modern park to replace a run-down mobile home park, which had fallen into disrepair in recent years, by providing new working-class housing in downtown San Luis Obispo.
The project replaces 33 old trailers from the former Mission Trailer Park in downtown San Luis Obispo, built in the 1940s.
The new, two-story homes include two- and three-bedroom options for rent. The homes, which range from about 1,000 to 1,350 square feet, are expected to be completed this summer. Belsher declined to give rental prices, saying they will be available at market rate.
The site is located adjacent to Foremost Wine Company and Fred and Betty's Thrift Store near the Creamery.
"We've had to store the manufactured units off site and then we install them using a crane," Belsher said. "We can install four of them in about two days."
The plans also include redevelopment of a historic home on the property where then-San Luis Obispo Sheriff David Norcoss lived from 1871 to 1877. The house will be relocated slightly forward on the site, Belsher said.
The Norcross home is visible from Higuera Street while the prefab homes are located behind it, toward the back of the lot. The historic home will be rented as a single-family residence. Work on that part of the project is expected to take about six months.
For years, Mission Trailer Park provided an affordable place to live in a city with high housing costs, but it deteriorated over time and residents faced problems such as occasional sewage backups and an old, shoddy laundry room.
Under his previous business entity, PB Companies, Belsher helped former residents relocate to other housing. A longtime resident, Craig Steffens, told The Tribune in 2015, that he was pleased with how the situation was handled.
“I’ll give Belsher this — he did a pretty good job of relocating everyone,” Steffens said at the time. “He managed to get the homeowners of the park relocated to units that were two to three times bigger than they had before.
“And (with) the renters he went way above and beyond because you only have to give them a 30-day notice, but he gave them all kinds of assistance with moving and security deposits.”
An interest list for the new units is available at Downtown Terrace at https://dt-terrace.com/.
Belsher's company, The Obispo Company, also is the developer behind the approved mixed-use San Luis Square project nearby on Marsh Street adjacent to the Jack House, which features downtown housing units, a hotel and nearly 20,000 feet of commercial space.
Belsher also is a partner in the Bonetti Ranch project at Tank Farm Road and Higuera, featuring a public marketplace "with a farm-to-table culture in a destination marketplace." That project, under development, is about a year away from completion, Belsher said.
"We have quite a few local organic farmers who will be using (Bonetti commercial) space," Belsher said. "We aren't announcing them just yet."