A fiery Florida man refuses to sell his beloved family home even as it is swallowed up by massive US $ 600 million (AU $ 790 million) business development.
Orlando Capote said CBS4 News that his father bought the humble single-family home in 1989, after escaping Cuba and working together to achieve his American dream.
“The house is my soul,” Mr. Capote said. “So what’s the point of selling your soul for all the money in the world?”
The surrounding construction area “is the most mega commercial development in Coral Gables history,” according to the local report.
The Plaza Coral Gables, developed by Agave Ponce LLC, includes shops, restaurants, residences, offices and a 242-room luxury hotel.
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The development “will have a positive impact on the quality of life and safety of the community through the creation of new spaces for meals, recreation and the promotion of artistic, cultural and outdoor activities,” according to the website. from Plaza Coral Gables.
Capote has turned down offers of up to US $ 900,000 (AU $ 1.18 million) for the 120m² two-bedroom, two-bathroom house – up to 60 bids in the past six years.
Mr Capote’s father died in 2005. He then lost his mother last year, who had asked before her death that the son not sell the “family treasure”.
“It was my father’s dream house. It took him 20 years to find it, ”Mr. Capote told the Miami Herald.
“This house is like a hard drive. Looking around, living in it and walking through it, I relive many memories. That I couldn’t find in another house.
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In scenes reminiscent of the 1997 Australian film The castle, the intrepid Floridian not only refuses to dishonor his mother’s wishes, but he fights against the developers and the town hall.
He says the city broke many codes by ransacking his property. Mr Capote can be seen in a video showing people around his house wearing sturdy contractors’ masks to protect his lungs from dusty debris, while cranes and trucks make noise from across a towering green construction fence.
“You can see some of the garbage that has already fallen to the side,” Mr. Capote said.
“Which wouldn’t happen if the building was in fact 35 feet (10 m) high or at least 50 feet (15 m) away.” “
Coral Gables officials say the development has not broken any laws or fire codes.
“The issues raised have been thoroughly investigated and investigated,” they told the Miami Herald.
This story originally appeared in the New York Post and is reproduced here with permission