Florida Keys

Prefab homes and RVs will replace Islamorada trailers that were destroyed by Irma

The remains of trailers destroyed by Hurricane Irma sit behind a chain-link fence this month at mile marker 87.4 in Islamorada. The trailers are expected to be replaced by a mix of small, manufactured homes and RVs.
The remains of trailers destroyed by Hurricane Irma sit behind a chain-link fence this month at mile marker 87.4 in Islamorada. The trailers are expected to be replaced by a mix of small, manufactured homes and RVs.

Two Islamorada mobile home parks that were all but destroyed by Hurricane Irma in September could be back by early next year, but without the trailers that were no match for the Category 4 storm’s surge and high winds.

The company that owns Sea Breeze Resort and San Pedro RV and Resort, both located on the ocean side of U.S. 1 on Plantation Key, is in the site planning review stage with the village of Islamorada, said Jim Hoekstra, senior vice president of sales for Sun Communities.

Joseph Corradino, acting planning director for the village, said in an email that he should know some time this week whether the site plans are approved.

The rebuilt Sea Breeze and San Pedro subdivisions will have a total of 152 units — 91 lots for recreational vehicles that won’t be permanently attached to the property and 61 for manufactured homes. The manufactured homes will be small, similar in size to the trailers that were there, but these are prefabricated homes built to hurricane specifications and elevated to federal flood standards, Hoekstra said.

Surge from Irma wiped out most of the trailers in Sea Breeze and San Pedro. The ones left standing were deemed uninhabitable and bulldozed.

Podders Paradise.jpg
A sign was all that was left of a trailer at Sea Breeze RV Resort in Islamorada in the days after Hurricane Irma’s storm surge destroyed most of the subdivision’s homes. David Goodhue/dgoodhue@flkeysnews.com

In the aftermath of the storm, Sun Communities, which is based in Michigan, offered to sell current Sea Breeze and San Pedro residents the new manufactured homes at cost. Prices range from $35,000 to $100,000 per unit, John McLaren, president and chief operating officer of Sun, told residents in September.

As an added incentive, the company offered finance plans where current residents could put down payments as low as 3 percent of the at-cost price and Sun would put down an additional $5,000 toward the purchase of the home.

Since making the offer in the fall, Hoekstra said several residents have expressed an interest.

“We have had several inquiries and are working with each resident to ensure this opportunity is utilized,” Hoekstra said in an email Monday.

The company bought a small parcel of land between Sea Breeze and San Pedro, making the total footprint larger and allowing for the building of seven more units than were there before Irma, Hoekstra said.

“The overall layout of the community is very similar. However, due to some village ordinances that must be incorporated, there will be some changes,” Hoekstra said. “These layout changes are primarily related to fire protection, life safety and hurricane evacuation requirements.”

After Hurricane Irma brought "extensive" damages to the Anna Maria Island Pier in 2017, the city commission voted to tear it down and rebuild it from scratch. Crews began the demolition process on Monday morning.

  Comments