The movie “Up” is playing out in Coral Gables.
In the 2009 film, a retired balloon salesman stubbornly holds out as developers erect skyscrapers around the tiny home he and his late wife built together and demean he give into their desire to sell.
Eventually, in order to fulfill a promise to his wife, he attaches helium balloons to the house, and it floats up, carrying him and a stowaway to South America.
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In Coral Gables, as the Florida Standard reported on Friday, homeowner Orlando Capote refuses to sell the modest home he’s lived in for 34 years, even as a mammoth development project goes up almost literally in his yard.
The Florida Standard reported that Capote’s holdout is now attracting attention from the national media.
The New York Post picked up the story, noting that Capote’s father, a refugee from communist Cuba, bought the home in 1989 and often worked two jobs to pay for it.
Engulfing Capote is a $600 million commercial development called Plaza Coral Gables.
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It is the largest such project in Coral Gables’ history and will include shops, restaurants, residences, office space, and a 242-room luxury hotel.
The Post noted that Capote has refused as many as 60 offers to sell over the past six years, once turning down $900,000 for his two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,300-square-foot home.
Capote’s father died in 2005, as did his mother last year. The Post reported that she urged Capote to not sell the “family treasure.”
“The house is my soul,” Capote said. “So what good is it to sell your soul for all the money in the world?”
“This was my father’s dream house. It took 20 years for him to find it. This house is like a hard drive. As I look around and live in it and move through it, I relive a lot of memories. That I could not find in another house.”
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