I have been reading this thread with much curiosity to see how things progressed. They had been progressing as I imagined right until your last post. In many respects the questions your asking are some of the most basic that need to be answered to push your project forward. The disconnect you have seems to be the in the details. Only a few people here can even post on this topic with any degree of both development and MHP industry knowledge. That is because what your doing is really a different business than the one discussed here, and only a few have ever crossed over into the development side.
The answers your seeking would require hours, probably more than a hundred hours, of research plus a very detailed site visit. The kind of local knowledge you seek will only be found in someone that has put together a multi use property, in that same local in the past few years. To be sure, anything they gave you would have to be updated for the most current market saturation in each segment of the commercial aspect and the MHP aspect as well.
My point: your asking questions that can not be answered with any level of detail because… each location will have different answers. Move the park 1 mile and the answers will change. Your looking at traffic counts, intersection access, market saturation of each commercial component plus the MHP and RV component. In short Larry… your a really big thinker with a really big plan…
We are a group that administrators board that looks into the very niche industry of mobile home park ownership. Each of us can tell you from our own experiences and knowledge what we see fit for a given situation. I happen to agree with Frank, development of any MHP is sketchy… and your clear lack of any expertise in every facet of MHP ownership and development if a huge red flag. We had a guy pass through a boot camp earlier this year that did understand the development side. He operated about 3,000 and had built many of the communities he owned. Not all, but many. He wore two hats, one operated the parks, the other ran the development side. It was interesting to hear him talk of his equipment sitting, waiting for his next development. He really had this down, see he owned the equipment needed to develop the property.
See… his game is different enough though he came to the boot camp to learn how to better operate his communities, how to evaluate communities that were existing, what to look for in respects to upside in the existing park market- he taught us as well. As I have remained in contact with him I know this… instead of building another park he bought one that was existing. What we know is unless your building a for a very specific need, and with a very specific product it is much less expensive to purchase a park that currently operates.
This guy builds 55+ communities in Arizona and California. They have golf courses, general stores, restaurants etc… They have just under 1000 spaces and he has access to tens of millions of dollars to build and fund the establishment of homes into the community.
Now I will part company with Frank and offer a more advanced answer to your questions… The material offered through MHPS really is all about buying, operating and selling existing communities. What your looking for is not going to be found in any of the materials offered at any book store. Your looking at hiring people to preform hundreds of hours of research, and your looking at spending tens of thousands to get it done. If spending 20 to 50 thousand for the necessary professionals to develop the information you need necessary to develop a park sounds like a stretch, then your not really a developer. Your a guy with a big idea, looking for someone with deep pockets to fund your vision quest. To be more clear… if you had a clue as to what you were doing your questions would not be so basic, you would be asking if we knew people with experience in funding and managing a multi use development project in your general part of the country.
Now before you try to toss me under the same bus you have pushed Frank under:
My understanding of this industry hits close to home. My wife is one of the people that does these study’s. So I get the side of the game that requires the professionals to be hired to see if the need exists for a project, and I can head to my basement and open file boxes that contain such studies. A feasibility study will fill at least one file box. They are hundreds of pages long (like 300 to 700) with thousands of pages of referenced research, zoning maps, population projections etc. Through my wife, I know the local (Denver Market) people that do these studies for some industries, in the MHP field there might be 2 or 3 that will have the credentials. I know 2 of them. They might cover a 3-4 state area. A study will run you 20 or 30 thousand if it is basic, and for multi use you will need more than one researcher, and someone to compile reports so your over that 30 grand mark… by how much really depends on the complexity of the market and the uses. My Wife has 2 masters, one pertaining to real estate and one in the appraisal field. Her specialty is income property and real estate finance. Let me say, since kids she is not practicing anything except watching over our personal deals… so this is not a plug for her to work, only so you know I am not pulling info out of the thin air and typing for the fun of it.
This site gives great advise if your a MHP buyer, operator or seller. We are minor league players when standing shoulder to shoulder with he development guys… we are not qualified to answer your questions… and I do not think your going to find some open forum with people that will… the stakes are high and you will pay very qualified people to study your project and give highly qualified answers. Good luck to you…