Tonawanda News

Local News

October 12, 2012

Town of Niagara officials believe Factory Outlets will be expanding into Sabre Park land

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — “At this point, there has been no application to the town,” he said.

He also said that he didn’t know of any other governmental entities in the county receiving any paper work related to a mall expansion.

After residents of the park learned that a lien on the mortgage to the land was bought by the company that owns the mall, many people abandoned their homes anticipating that they would be forced off the land.

Robert Kehoe has lived in Sabre Park for nearly 10 years. He said that rumors about how the mall would use the land — a parking lot, more outlets, a Sam’s Club — started circulating in the park after foreclosure proceedings began.

“People started to panic,” Kehoe said. “I started to panic too.”

When the remaining residents learned that the park was to be auctioned off even more left.

Kehoe wants to know whether he will be reimbursed for his trailer if Macerich does not offer him another lease, he said. He has recently made improvements to his home, including a new roof, new siding and better windows.

“I’m investing, but I don’t know how far to go,” he said. “Why should I spend money on this trailer if I just have to leave it?”

Today, only 44 of the homes in Sabre Park have people living in them and of those only 14 tenants are current on their rent. When the park was full to capacity there were 286 homes, John Ottaviano, the court appointed receiver of rents during the foreclosure proceedings, said last week.

Kehoe said that some of the people still living in the park have stopped paying their rent because they aren’t sure if they will be reimbursed for their homes.

“A lot of people are thinking, ‘why should I keep paying?’ “ Kehoe said.

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