KAYSVILLE -- A 30-day eviction notice for tenants living at the Far West Motel could come as early as Wednesday, making way for a $6.5 million townhouse development with plans to open its first units by the end of 2011.
Destination Homes, a Layton-based development company, is buying from landowner Mark Cummings, of Farmington, the 2.9 acres at 410 N. Main St. in Kaysville, the site of the motel. The purchase is conditional on the development company's ability to have the property rezoned from general commercial to an R-4 zone and develop its project.
Destination Homes will appear before the Kaysville City Council at its 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday, seeking final approval of the project, said Brad Wilson, owner and CEO of Destination Homes.
The meeting will be at Kaysville City Hall, 23 E. Center St.
"We're hoping to get final approval some time in the month of June, and we will close (on the property) 30 days after that," Wilson said. "I don't expect we are going to have a lot of difficulties, but there may be some issues we may have to work out.
"We hope to have our first building constructed by the end of this year. That building will have five units in it," Wilson said. The project, upon completion, will consist of 37 living units, selling for an average of $170,000 each.
Upon the townhouse project's receiving the council's final approval, based on a contract between Cummings and Wilson, tenants living in the 44-year-old motel will have 30 days to vacate their rooms.
To ensure all tenants at the motel are aware of the June 7 meeting, Cummings said, he has asked the Far West Motel manager to go door-to-door and personally inform each of them of the meeting.
Far West Motel tenant Jim Rae said it is "good news" that those living at the motel now have an eviction date or close to it.
"We asked for a date and we have gotten a date. What more can we ask of them?" Rae said.
Motel tenants had initially feared their eviction would carry only a 24-hour notice versus the 30-day notice apartment dwellers typically receive, Rae said.
About 30 people are still living in the 27-room motel, with 12 to 15 of them being children, Rae said. But the number of people living at the motel is dwindling as news has spread of its closing.
"We're losing people every day as people find places to go and find family members to take them in," Rae said.
Regardless of how much notice tenants are given, Rae said, there will be those who will find the transition to other housing difficult, because they have limited savings and some housing demands a large deposit in advance.
Cummings said he doesn't anticipate tenants having to vacate their rooms until some time in July. In the meantime, he said, he operates the motel at a loss as a result of the monthly $4,000 power bill he is paying for electric heat in the rooms.
Cummings said he originally bought the motel property and a piece of adjacent land to develop an assisted-living senior care center. Since that development failed to come to fruition, he said, he has been trying to sell the land rather than operate it at a loss.
"We're running at a negative cash flow to keep it open," he said.
Motel tenants were concerned that a March 19 shooting death at the motel was behind Cummings' desire to sell the land.
But officials say the shooting death is unrelated to the sale of the property, and the land has been listed for sale for five years.
Wilson said his company began negotiations to buy the motel from Cummings in October 2010, with an agreement being reached a week before the March 19 shooting.
It is a "sad coincidence" that the proposed rezone of the property surfaced around the same time as the shooting, he said.
To help motel tenants find new places to live, Wilson said, he intends to help them locate the housing resources available to them.