It may not look like the tropics of Hawaii, but Lisa and Bryan Harris are hoping that their Palms of Paradise RV Park in Gardendale, Texas, will become their oasis in the desert.
The couple will open up their new venture around the end of February with an initial 25 RV spaces, Lisa Harris told the Odessa American.
While some may see it as slight relief for the housing shortage plaguing the Permian Basin, Harris said the RV park is a dream three years in the making.
“We didn’t just jump into this because the oil field was booming,” Harris said. “We found a good piece of property, and it just happened to fall around the time (of a boom).”
Nevertheless, the opening of the Palms of Paradise is already anticipated by many needing affordable and temporary housing in the area.
Harris said she’s already taken a dozen reservations prior to the February opening.
The RV park is eventually expected to accommodate up to 100 spaces, which will cost around $650 a month, not including electricity, Harris said.
RVs will be able to rest on concrete slabs, and amenities will include an on-site laundry facility, recreation center, playground, dog run, Wi-Fi and cable.
“Considering Gardendale is in the heart of the Midland-Odessa area, the housing shortage is the same,” Harris said. “As far as the quality, this RV park is being built to stay in the area. It’s not just for the boom; it’s going to be permanent.”
Ector County Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Simmons said while he’s seen many mobile home parks popping up in Gardendale as temporary housing solutions, they won’t be the final solution in the housing shortage.
“It’s going to be a long process. It’s not a quick-fix, easy thing to solve,” Simmons said. “There will be a lot of people living in a mobile (home) park on a temporary basis. A lot of the needs right now are temporary needs.”
Simmons said he does want people to be cautionary on building homes, especially mobile home or RV parks, which are easier and quicker to build than permanent residences.
“I know they have a chance to overbuild because (mobile home or RV parks) are easier to put in per unit basis. When things area slow, they don’t last, but a lot of that depends on management,” Simmons said. “The population will ebb and flow based on that oil field economy.”