The History of Jet Park Senior Co-Op is a long and interesting one. There are still some residents who remember the Park’s earliest days as their parents or grandparents had units here. Many years ago Joe E. Tankey (JET), a real estate broker and insurance agent of Akron, Ohio, dreamed of an ideal trailer park. He envisioned a park designed not only for the entertainment of winter tourists but something beyond that. He dreamed of permanent homes for pensioners and elderly people in a warm climate where they could spend the sunset days of their lives amid congenial surroundings and at a moderate cost.
Since the location of the park was of primary importance, he immediately canvassed the entire state of Florida for a suitable site to meet his ideals. He finally decided on this spot as affording the best features of wholesome City water, good elevation above sea level, fine fishing excellent medical care and banking facilities as well as easy access to markets and recreation plus points of interest in the State and relative freedom from hurricanes. Development work was not started until September 15, 1950. Initially, two large two-story houses and four block buildings were constructed with toilet and shower facilities. There was room for 16 to 20 travel trailers surrounded by a wilderness of palmettos, mangroves and saw grass. Originally there were no paved roads and no carports. Water was piped to an outside spigot at each trailer and there were no sewers. Hundreds of loads of fill and shell were hauled in and bulldozers cleared the land. Then sewer and water lines were installed. Next came the power lines and meters, and finally a steel building was erected for showers and restrooms.
When the first phase was completed, there were 156 lots plus the apartments. The old recreation hall was started in January by the residents, and the first dance was held in February 1952. Through the years, additional spaces were added. The seawall was built in 1957, then a boardwalk and 40 boat slips were constructed. A small grocery store and post office were located in the hall until 1962. On July 8, 1963 the Hall was destroyed beyond repair by a fire. The following winter some of the Park’s activities were held at the Palmetto Women’s Club and the City Trailer Park auditorium during the five busy months when the Park is teeming with it’s winter residents. A new recreation hall was completed by September 15, 1964.
The new building was constructed at 90X60 ft. in size of cement block construction, with terrazzo floor and an acoustic ceiling with steel beams. It contains a modern office, an assembly room approximately 60 ft. square with a 25x12ft. stage. There is a kitchen, rest rooms and two smaller rooms to be used for cards, classrooms and other activities of the Park folks.
The “A” section of the park was formerly a swamp, fill was added and area was opened in 1960. In 1972 the area known as the “slip” was opened for 30 travel trailers. Joe Tankey died in 1962 and the Park was owned by his family until 1988 when a co-op was organized and the park was purchased. The first board members were: Art Hauser, Jean DeMarch, Vernon Buescher, Jack Hubler, Marshall Roby and John Ellis. Jet Park is the only Palmetto Park bordering on the water with boat docks. The residents were given the opportunity to become owners and they voted to purchase shares and become a senior co-op Park. Present owners owe a debt of gratitude to the resident’s listed in the Prospectus, and others who were instrumental in making the co-op happen. The price of the original shares varied depending on the size and location of the lot. The Park is a non-profit organization that is recognized by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). That recognition allows the Park board of directors to practice age discrimination. All units must have at least one resident able to prove age 55 or older. No resident may be less than 45 years old.
The Board of Directors are made up of 7 Co-Op Members who have taken on the responsibility of running the Jet Park Corporation. These members are elected and installed into office according to the bylaws of the Corporation. If you are a share owner, the details of this have been provided to you.
The current Board of Directors are:
President: Nel Mann
Vice President: Gordon Lang
Treasurer: Deb Klug
Secretary: Alva Mesaros