breaking news

Boca legislator urges Gov. Scott to oust Broward sheriff over Parkland response

Last day in paradise: Jupiter’s Suni Sands Park residents all clear out


Highlights

Key West-style development planned in Jupiter

Park in Jupiter once had about 102 mobile homes

The last residents of Suni Sands Mobile Home Park left Thursday, ending years of controversy and opening up 10 prime acres of Jupiter Inlet property for development.

“I never imagined I would live in such a magical place like Suni Sands. My husband and I are going to get a pizza tonight and sit on the deck with another couple. One last night in paradise,” said Joyce Miller, a 15-year resident of the park.

Thursday was the deadline for the residents to leave the park, which once had 102 mobile homes and 14 recreation vehicles. Where residents said was once a thriving community now is empty concrete slabs and crumbling mobile homes.

The residents were evicted to make room for a Key West-style development proposed by Charles Modica, who paid about $16 million for the property in 2013.

To read the latest headlines from Jupiter, go to mypalmbeachpost.com/jupiter

Modica is renovating the boathouse on the Jupiter Inlet, which is planned to be a two-story building open to the public. He plans an inn and possibly retail/residential on the property. No plans have been submitted to the town.

Several Suni Sands residents unsuccessfully filed a lawsuit after the park was purchased. They alleged the sale should be voided because the residents were not given first refusal to buy the property.

The town turned down a plan in July to give up to $5,000 per unit to tenants still living in the park. The plan called for a one-time payment to residents who meet income and residence requirements.

Residents slowly have been leaving the park since Modica made his purchase.

Some towed away their mobile homes to another location. Others left their homes there to be demolished. Some signed a settlement agreement that allowed them to stay in exchange for relinquishing the right to sue the property owner. They got a $1,000 payment from Modica.

About four residents stayed until Thursday’s bitter end.

Park Manager Steve Burns sat in his pickup truck Thursday afternoon, helping residents move furniture and other items. Burns has managed the park for 17 years. His father was a maintenance man at Suni Sands.

“I grew up here. My kids worked here. This place is a part of me. The residents aren’t the only ones feeling the loss. I’m glad it’s over. It’s time to move on,” said Burns.

A fence will be placed around the property once all residents are gone, said Burns.

The park, which overlooks the Jupiter Inlet and the Jupiter Lighthouse, was a thriving community where all residents looked out for each other, said Miller. She and her husband left their mobile home in Suni Sands. They moved to Hobe Sound. They bought a mobile home that they are fixing up.

“We had all kinds of people in Suni Sands. We all got along. But that’s not where Jupiter is going. Regular people can’t live there anymore,” Miller said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Lisa Marie Presley sues ex-manager contending he lost her $100 million fortune
Lisa Marie Presley sues ex-manager contending he lost her $100 million fortune

Lisa Marie Presley is suing her former manager, Barry Siegel, for “reckless and negligent mismanagement” of her inherited estate, but her estranged husband was quick to call her so-called mountain of debt a lie. >> Read more trending news  Presley inherited $100 million from her rock ‘n’ roll father Elvis Presley...
Honda Classic 2018: New Lilly Pulitzer Lounge a hit with fans
Honda Classic 2018: New Lilly Pulitzer Lounge a hit with fans

A splashy, hand-painted Lilly Pulitzer photo backdrop and signature “Lilly” cocktails welcome women to the Lilly Pulitzer Lounge, a new venue at the 10th green at the Honda Classic. RELATED: Limited edition Lilly Pulitzer print to tap Honda Classic theme It’s the tournament’s latest effort to grow the game of golf among a wider...
The arts shines this weekend at Lake Worth’s Street Painting Festival
The arts shines this weekend at Lake Worth’s Street Painting Festival

Rod Tryon is grimacing a bit. The artist, 64, is sweating and staring at his chalk painting, a hole in the ground with a crystal skull in the middle that’s being guarded by a cheetah and crocodiles. “It’s an Indiana Jones type of thing,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun.” But also a lot of work. Tryon has been bending...
NEW: Teen injured in shooting near gas station in Port St. Lucie
NEW: Teen injured in shooting near gas station in Port St. Lucie

An 18-year-old man is being treated for gunshot wounds after a shooting in Port St. Lucie on Saturday morning, according to police. City police officers were at a Valero gas station at about 2 a.m. when they heard gunshots coming from a nearby parking lot on the 800 block of Southwest Swan Avenue, just east of Florida’s Turnpike, according...
Perilous times for historically black colleges
Perilous times for historically black colleges

Two years ago, Amelia Smith received the one thing she thought she always wanted – a blue envelope from Spelman College. She had been accepted to what many consider the finest black college in America. Her grandmother went to Spelman. So did her mother. And her aunt. And her sister, who’s a senior there now. So Smith wasn’t surprised...
More Stories