The date residents of the Lake Seminole Campsite circled on their calendars, at first with dread and later with tortured anticipation, arrived Friday: closing day.
Nearly nine months after Home Depot announced plans to buy the park, the fix-it-yourself chain expected to take ownership Friday. The sale might not be final until today.
"The checks have been mailed," Home Depot spokesman Don Harrison said. "We are in fact closing on the property."
Home Depot plans to get rid of the park and build a store. The park has 38 mobile homes, and 24 must go to make room for the store.
Most of the residents are older than 70 and live on fixed incomes. They hope Home Depot will help pay for their moves. Harrison would not say whether the company will provide financial help. "Our intent is to meet with the people as soon as possible," Harrison said. "We know the people out there are anxious."
Because company representatives could not talk to residents until the sale was final, residents have been frustrated by not knowing how soon they need to move.
By law, the residents have a year to leave the park after they get written notice it will be put to another use. But Harrison has said Home Depot would like them to move out sooner.
"We're just in limbo," resident Anna Rudynski said. "I knew today was closing day and I was just sitting here thinking to myself that I wondered when we're going to hear something."