“I have been buying mobile home parks for over 10 years and have been talking to Nellie over the years,” he said. “Last year she finally decided she wanted to sell.
Crews have demolished and are working to clear the area of the former Airway Mobile Home Park in St. Clair Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Patriot Holdings is based in Las Vegas, but Boucher owns parks in Fairfield and near Oxford.
The land was largely cleared by last week, and Boucher said a combination RV park and storage area will take its place.
“In the wooded sections we will do some long term, secured RV storage,” Boucher said. “And there will be spaces for 65 RVs for overnight and or longer stays.”
The camping space will include water, sewer, power, bathrooms, showers and laundry service along with barbecues and tables with awnings, he said.
MORE: ‘Let Hamilton keep its history’: Letter sets up effort to preserve railroad station
Part of the driving force for project was the development of Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill gigantic indoor sports complex and convention center that is estimated to be completed by late 2021 in Hamilton’s North End.
“That really tipped us in this direction to make our decision to redevelop it,” Boucher said.
The park is just a few miles down Ohio 127 to the development, and officials have said they expect to need more places for visitors to stay when coming to events at Spooky Nook.
“We have heard that there is such a lack of overnight housing or hotels, that I think a lot of families may choose camping,” he said. “We believe the RV park will also fill one of the many demands created by Spooky Nook when it is up and running.”
Boucher said plans are to repurpose the iconic black-and-red Airway Mobile Home Park sign that has stood at the entrance for 50 plus years.
Also taken down last week was a building that served most recently as the Airway office, but it was a meat market in the 1980s, according to Mike Shallow, Wardlow’s grandson who is managing the new project.
Nellie Wardlow, now in her 80s, had a “few tears for sure,” when the demolition began, Shallow said, but he added she is thankful to not have to be concerned about he future of the space anymore.
Boucher said the goal is to have at least the first part of the RV park open by August, but total completion will take several more months.
MORE: WORTH THE DRIVE: Comfort food destination adds Sunday brunch