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Date of Issue: March 22, 2007

Cortezians gather on trailer park fate Thursday

Cortez Trailer Park residents are expected to gather at the Florida Institute of Saltwater Heritage meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 22, to discuss the sale of the property, at 12507 Cortez Road.

Owner Butch Howey announced last year that he had an offer for the property at $10.8 million. Park residents have first right of refusal to purchase mobile home parks, thanks to a Florida law, and according to Alma Cockerham, vice president of the park association. She said they proffered a $50,000 advance to allow residents to purchase the land under their mobile homes.

She said it appears that Howie is not accepting the offer by park residents, hence the FISH meeting discussion.

"We all want to get together to discuss it," Cockerham said.

The property is about five acres of land with 620 feet or so of waterfront and a marina. It is adjacent to the east ramp of the Cortez Bridge.

It has been owned and operated as a trailer park by the Howey family since 1959. Butch Howey bought it from his parents in 1988, but has been associated with its operation almost all of his life. He refused to comment on the sale.