CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA — A modest, two-bedroom house surrounded by a massive $400 million development in Coral Gables has garnered national media attention.
Homeowner Orlando Capote’s refusal to part with his family home of 34 years has created a bizarre spectacle similar to the one depicted in the animated Disney movie Up.
The Plaza Coral Gables – the largest project in the city’s history – was recently completed after several years of construction that engulfed Capote’s residence.
The house is still standing after five years of development, but The Plaza’s 200 feet towers have destroyed the tranquility Capote once enjoyed.
“It’s never going to be peaceful,” he told WSVN. “I can’t see the sunrise or the sunset. I can’t see the moon or the stars. That was one of my hobbies, astronomy. All that is gone.”
“THEY CAN’T GET ME OUT”
Capote began challenging what he considered an invasion of his property rights back in 2017. After all legal efforts failed, he endured years of noisy construction that resulted in his home being covered in dust and debris. The construction zone even blocked the front entrance to his home.
“As you can see, it’s pretty miserable here,” Capote told the Florida Bulldog amid the construction ruckus in 2021. “But they can’t get me out unless I stop paying property taxes.”
The outlet reported that Capote’s late parents purchased the home for $130,000 in 1989 after they fled from Cuba. Since 2017, he has turned down numerous offers from the developers to sell his beloved property. Holding back tears, Capote admitted the sentimental value has played a role in his decision to keep the home amid the invasive chaos.
He expressed his disappointment with the city’s loyalty to The Plaza, saying: “The City of Coral Gables: of the people, by the people, for the developers.”