Co-op Business Plan Questioned by a Resident

A resident who goes by “Business Plan” has sent a comment today under the “rent increase”  post.  In that comment, he has raised concerns about the Co-op business plan.  Because this issue is important, I am posting his statement here as a separate topic,  in addition to its location in the comments section under “rent increase.”

This is done to facilitate discussion about specific issues.   —Editor


” As noted above by the Tropicana Forum editor, rent increases were a hot topic at the winter, 2012 THA meeting.

“The Co-op made it very clear that a 5% rent increase is to be expected each year, as it is part of their business plan. These increases will bring the base rate to $600+ per month in the next two years.(Residents will be leaving like rats from a burning barn when this occurs.)

“The base rent in December, 2010, when the park was purchased was $479 per month—increasing to $550 in 2013, a 14.8% increase to date!! I think we need to keep in mind that this is a retirement community, inflation has not increased near this amount, and certainly neither has the average retiree income.

“As noted in the Co-op President’s report dated July 14,2012, since the park purchase, 21 homes have been taken over by the park, and 3 more are in process. This is over one unit per month, and this number will increase as rents increase.

“The loss of $6,000.00 + in annual rental income PER UNIT is not sustainable, since the cost of services, taxes etc does not go away. As stated, some of these homes have been refurbished and sold, but this again is an additional expense, even using volunteer labour, which is beginning to wear thin.

“It has been almost two years since the Co-op took ownership of the park and, like every business, the business plan needs to be reviewed as economic conditions change.  The time has come to review the Co-op business plan, as THA cannot be expected to continue to subsidize the current plan and shareholders are more than a little concerned about their investment.”

Editor’s Note:  We have checked the Co-op web site documents and can find nothing called “business plan.”   Perhaps this commenter or someone else  can provide a copy of that plan for our readers to review.  —PG

21 thoughts on “Co-op Business Plan Questioned by a Resident

  1. “Business Plan” needs to realize that we live in a community where the rent is much lower than many communities in our area. Also, look at the area where we live…close to everything (Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers Beach, shopping, restaurants and so much more).

    It’s location, location, location! You can’t live in a condo for less than $600 a month. You’d be lucky if you could do it for less than $1000. This is “cheap” living!

  2. Not the way it’s going up…..This park was always nice and resonable for those of us who didn’t have a mansion up north.LOL

  3. Just how many of the Tropicana residents are full time?. MOST of us have two homes, two water bills, two electric bills, two Homeowners insurance, taxes. Our pensions and our Social Security checks are not growing but the Tropicana Co-op does not care. And of course everything remains secretive to the homeowners. The Co-op can meet, confirm, discuss and never try to negotiate so that they could TRY to keep all residents happy. Why can’t negotiations be held during November – April when all residents are there. Show us why the $25. increase is necessary. Is it to pay the mortgage or is it to improve the community.

  4. Living on the lake is nice, but we are having a hard time justifying $605.00 a month year- round, as we own a home and live in up north 7 months of the year.

    It will come soon that we will have to sell, but who cares!

  5. Lake Front Renter: Please explain what you mean by “who cares!” We want your comment to be understood by our readers. Thanks, Paul

  6. When responding to a comment, please mention the name of the commenter so our readers can know whom you are addressing. Thanks, Paul

  7. Once again, we are wondering if the $25.00 increase is to pay the mortgage or improve the community. If the Co-op Board reads this blog, why is there no answer?

    Help us understand why another increase is necessary. Please read my “Wondering” comment dated October 2 at 8:19 a.m.

  8. I love that the “Full Time Resident” called the Tropicana cheap living. My-oh-my; of course if that is your only home. Read again ” Wondering.” These are people who have their home up north, and Florida is just icing on the cake. Get real if you think this is cheap living.

    Just HOW MANY Trop. residents make Florida their home?? Also, count how many are snowbirds who live there for six months.

    Of course it is location, location, location, but how many of us are frequently visit Sanibel, Ft. Myers Beach, and Captiva. Of course we take relatives and guests, but sit back and tell me how many of the full-time residents utilize these wonderful places. I too love the location because fifteen years ago, when I was much younger, I went to Sanibel, Ft. Myers Beach and Captiva.

    I will be sorry if there are more places for sale because of expenses that people do not deem necessary.

  9. Should a handful of people alone run this community? I think there are 469 voices. Where are you?

  10. We realize that decisions are being made that effect all of us. WE will become more involved,but a lot of these rules were made by the “old guard.”

    Being new to the community we never realized there was sooooo much animosity between full time/part time,owners/renters etc…Thank God for Paul and this blog so that we can access some of the information that’s flowing/trickling from sources out there.

    Not everyone who owns in the park is retired and living there for months/weeks at a time. Our future retirement place looks kinda dim….costs go up; we are not stupid,but an exact $25.00 per year?

    We deserve to understand why, just like the rest of the shareholders. Please share with us.

  11. Just Buying the Sun: I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your point in your second paragraph regarding full time and part-time residents. Please clarify for those of us who don’t get it.

  12. We do live in a community where the rent is cheaper than in many other surrounding places. Indian Creek and Siesta Bay pay around $800 a month. I used to be a snowbird and paid for two places.

    I know that’s not easy, but the cost of EVERYTHING is going up. It’s funny that people complain because we are now a co-op, but you didn’t hear as much complaining when we were owned by Fort Myers 21.

  13. I meant by my comment that I don’t believe the board really cares what happens to renters as long as they get an additional $25 a month each year. This helps them cover their mortgage.

    Do the share holders get an increase every year? We really don’t have any input. All we can do is sell when we can no longer afford the rent.

  14. You have to realize that shareholders invested BIG chunks of money up front to buy the share, making their maintenance fee remain constant. We invested from $57,000 to $63,000 to purchase the community. Everyone had that opportunity. Not all shareholders are full time residents. We knew, in the long run, that was a good investment.

  15. For the Co-op to keep things afloat, a necessary increase will be the answer. Everyone should stay as long as they can afford it and remember you are JUST BUYING THE SUN.

    Down the road a piece are lower fees, very nice community—still, location, location, location, and friendly people all over. If you want friends you have to be a friend.

    Meet Tropicana friends at Busters for a pizza.

  16. This commenter is so right: Always balance the good with the bad. That’s perspective.

  17. To Full Time Resident:

    You should have underlined the word “everyone.” The big chunks are starting to pay off.

    You have to realize that shareholders invested BIG chunks of money up front to buy the share, making their maintenance fee remain constant. We invested from $57,000 to $63,000 to purchase the community. Everyone had that opportunity. Not all shareholders are full time residents. We knew, in the long run, that was a good investment.

  18. To Business Plan:

    The rent may have increased 14.8% however the Park is in better shape than 14.8% than it was when the residents purchased it.

  19. “Better Shape:” Explain how it is in better shape?? For whom? I would think even the shareholders would start to wonder how come their friends of many years are choosing to sell and leave Tropicana.

    I doubt they ever thought there would be so much friction in the community when they bought in to begin with. How many shareholders would like their $57,000 back right about now? The majority of them have no say in what is happening in the park; it is run by a few and some of them that are running it leave a lot to be desired.

    They certainly could care less about the homeowners—just themselves. People had reasons for not buying in. These were personal, sometimes health issues, but good reasons. A lot of the people that did buy in were bullied into it.

    Better shape? I think not!

  20. “Better Shape” comments the rent may have increased 14.8% but the park is in better shape than when the residents purchased it. Two pools are working, but if we have two pools shouldn’t that be a no brainer?

    The Co-op section of the September-October Newsletter listed work which has continued during this low-activity time: Clearing the growth in the dtich area along Poinciana from Coral to Plumosa; repairing streets with asphalt; edging along more of the streets; pool repairs; electrical repairs to the entry gate and lights; repairing electrical to the backgate; adding gravel in the storage lot area; and general on-going maintenance.

    The listing of the above all sounds like general on-going maintenance. This is necessary maintenance not anything special to brag about. Big deal. Again, why is the $25.00 fee necessary and what is the game plan? The above mentioned is expected and no hoopla ……..

    Editor’s note: This comment was also posted under the article about Rents, Rules and Regrets where most of the conversation is currently happening. We will sometimes do that to avoid fragmenting the discussion.

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