Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Manufactured Mansion to House First Family
Champion Enterprises, Inc., of Auburn Hills, Mich. donated the home to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Association in an effort to raise awareness and change the public’s outdated perceptions of manufactured housing.
|This manufactured home from Champion Enterprises will house Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and his family while renovations are done to the permanent governor’s mansion.
If you happened to find yourself on the road between Ridgeville, Ind. and Little Rock, Ark. early last August, you might have seen three trucks draped in banners that read, "My other home is the governor’s mansion." The trucks were carrying a manufactured home that will temporarily house Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and his family while renovations are being done to the living quarters of the state governor’s mansion.
Champion Enterprises, Inc., of Auburn Hills, Mich. donated the home to the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Association in an effort to raise awareness and change the public’s outdated perceptions of manufactured housing. The 2133 square foot luxury manufactured home is the Eagle Pointe model, which was featured as the Target 2000 House in PB’s December 1999 issue.
"We were happily surprised when Arkansas first lady Janet Huckabee chose Eagle Pointe as her interim mansion," says Chuck Meyer, general manager of the Ridgeville plant where the home was engineered and constructed. "I knew as soon as we built that model that there were exciting things in its future, but I certainly did not picture this."
For Champion and the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association (AMHA), who approached Champion on behalf of the Huckabees, hosting Arkansas’ first family is a chance to publicize the impressive designs, high quality and affordability of manufactured housing.
"The homes we are building today are designed to appeal to many different people from affluent baby boomers to first-time home buyers," says Walt Young, chairman, president and CEO of Champion. "If the governor’s new home opens people’s eyes to the opportunities [of] manufactured housing, then our donation has done a public service. It will help people see that there is another housing option for them -- one that accommodates their lifestyle with affordable quality."
The three-bedroom, two-bath home will house the first family for about 18 months. Once renovations are completed on the governor’s mansion, the Champion home will be donated to a charitable organization. Champion and the AMHA are looking into which charity might get the most use from it.
The home was specifically designed to fit the needs and desires of the rapidly growing baby boomer market. Designed in collaboration with Champion’s design team and Palatine, Ill.-based Bloodgood Sharp Buster Architects and Planners, Inc., the home is one of five models in Champion’s new Developer Series. Homes in this series range from 1264 square feet to 2133 square feet and start at $49,000. This home’s selling price is $99,000 (excluding land).
"When the Huckabees move in, people will see that this is a beautiful and even luxurious home that represents the present and future of manufactured housing," says Meyer. "Skeptics have a big surprise in store and frankly, we can’t wait to amaze them."