Miami-area man refuses to sell family house swallowed by massive development

Author: CBS Miami
Published: Updated:
A small single-family house stands in the middle of a huge construction project in Coral Gables. (Credit: CBS Miami)

A small single-family house stands in the middle of a huge construction project in Coral Gables.

The $600 million commercial development is the largest in the city’s history.

The homeowner says his home carries priceless sentimental value and he won’t sell it, no matter the noise, rubble or price.

Speaking of price, the owner Orlando Capote has been offered a lot, many times.

“The house is my soul. So what good is it to sell your soul for all the money in the world?” he said.

His home in the middle of a construction zone and is now engulfed by the most mega commercial development in Coral Gables history.

“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.”

Capote tells CBS4 News in Miami that when his father came from Cuba, he worked double to buy this home for their family.

That was back in 1989.

He would spend the majority of his time outside with the mango trees.

In 2005, his dad passed, and in 2020, he lost his mother, who countless times told him she did not want to sell their family treasure.

“I do not want to roll the dice. I do not want to gamble. So, the memories are worth more,” Capote said.

For the past six years, Capote has refused more than 60 offers to sell to developers, real estate agents or flippers who made offers up to $900,000 for the two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,300-square-foot house.

Capote says the city has broken violations, as he is now engulfed by the upcoming plaza development.

The City of Coral Gables maintains that no laws have been broken and the fire code has not been violated.

They told the Miami Herald, “The issues raised have been extensively reviewed and investigated.”

While his house still stands, Capote says he is not going anywhere.

The Coral Gables man says his parents’ memories still linger in the house.

“I do not feel alone in the house. Maybe they are.”

CBS4 in Miami reached out to the developers on Saturday but has not heard back. The station said the developers have the appropriate permits and permission from the city.

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