Hillyard mobile home park facing drastic changes




Posted on August 30, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 30 at 5:40 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Shots fired in the Wishing Well Mobile Home Park were apparently over a pair of shoes according to authorities.

Local businesses near the Wishing Well Mobile Home Park said crime has been an issue for years.

"There are a lot of break-ins and we have security and we keep adding more," said Lee Ablrecht, a local employee.

"There were shots fired there last night," said Paul Hamilton, another worker in the area, "there's definitely a problem."

A new owner of the mobile park said he plans on changing its reputation.

Harry Wildgen said the park needs a fresh start so he is re-naming it Easy Acres Mobile Home Village.

"Hopefully by the time we're done, we will have all 75 homes open for people to live here," he said.

Wildgen also plans on tackling the crime issue by cleaning up, getting rid of abandoned items, demolishing unsafe homes, and bringing in new ones. He also wants to add a gate around the neighborhood and make a community gathering area.

Ultimately, he said, he wants to change the atmosphere, not the people.

Businesses have complained about crime in the area and even met with city leaders earlier in August to come up with solutions. The City of Spokane cracked down on trash violations and had more communication with neighbors since then.

Wildgen is also being more picky with who lives there.

"Everyone is welcome to stay as long as they are paying their rent and aren't causing a problem," he said.

The park has a no drug policy and has evicted five people in the last few weeks. Wildgen plans to transform the park into a place people want to be.

"I want to take care of those people and give them the secure environment they thought they had and I'm going to give it back," Wildgen said.

City leaders said they have identified 14 more homes that are unsafe to live in. Three of them will be demolished between Friday and Sunday.