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The most well-known real estate holdout today is probably Edith Macefield, an woman in her 80's who refused to sell her modest home in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood to a real estate developer (turning down an offer of $1 million), so they just built the development around her:

 

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However I recently came across the story of Vera Coking refusing to sell her house, which is even more bizarre. When Penthouse wanted to build a casino in Atlantic City in the 1970s, they tried to buy up a whole block, but Vera refused to sell (she was offered $1 million at the time, which is about $3.5 million in today's dollars). They decided to build the casino around her. After construction began in 1978, the project ran in to financial difficulties and was never finished. In the early 1990s, the site was acquired by the neighboring Trump Plaza casino and the rusting steel structure was finally demolished. Vera continued to live in the house until 2010 when she moved into a retirement home and the house was finally listed for sale. It was sold to billionaire Carl Icahn for $583,000 and demolished in 2014.

 

Google Street View never captured the front of the house, but you can see the back and side from adjacent streets.

 

VeraCokingHouse.jpg

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The only remaining holdout in Cincinnati near the FC Cincinnati stadium is the owner of this irregularly-shaped corner lot:

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.112738,-84.5225442,3a,75y,240.34h,97.99t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sFdPqUUnidIJFxgoRG8USuw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DFdPqUUnidIJFxgoRG8USuw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D110.731766%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

 

I have a bit of an anecdote surrounding this guy.  In early 2017 I sent letters to the owners of about 10 vacant lots in this area.  Never heard from the guy.  FFWD to December 2018 and I was closing on the sale of two nearby lots to some guys with money who were trying to do what I did but after the stadium had been announced.  I told them that I sent letters to everyone in the area years before and they asked me if I had contacted Mr. Tate.  I said yeah but didn't hear back from him.  The one guy then said out loud "we'll find him".  Well 14 months have now passed an Mr. Tate still hasn't sold. 

 

So what's interesting is that most holdouts are owner-occupants, but this guy simply owns an unremarkable vacant lot.  The current drawings for development on the block ignore his property.  So if they are built as currently planned and he eventually does sell...a single family house will likely be built there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

holdout.png

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The biggest example in Greater Cincinnati is probably the homeowners that refused to sell for Rookwood Exchange, and Norwood attempting to take those properties via eminent domain. This battle was actually being discussed on page 1 of the Norwood: Development and News threadStreet View captured a few of the homes that were still standing around 2007, years after rest rest of the site was demolished. Construction of Rookwood Exchange finally began around 2012, giving us the glorious suburban development that is there today.

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Here's a peculiar one in Chicago. Not sure what the story is for this one.

image.thumb.png.d6a5deb7cce523951cad418c64cc06ee.png

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“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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This holdout just sold for $400,000:

cincinnati-3759_zpsb4mztq6k.jpg

 

This corner lot is the last holdout near the new FC Cincinnati stadium.  Large multi-purpose construction is planned to completely surround it:

cincinnati-3761_zpslkqidpy0.jpg

 

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Well this holdout just lost $100k+.  Should have sold at any time in the last 12 months, as the economy is now in free-fall.  It's unlikely that the structures planned for this site will break ground any time soon. 

 

IMG_2655.JPG

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On 3/22/2020 at 4:47 PM, jmecklenborg said:

Well this holdout just lost $100k+.  Should have sold at any time in the last 12 months, as the economy is now in free-fall.  It's unlikely that the structures planned for this site will break ground any time soon. 

 

IMG_2655.JPG

Well that is what greed has gotten them, apparently.  And some of these "build around" pics are astonishing really.

Edited by Toddguy

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36 minutes ago, Toddguy said:

Well that is what greed has gotten them, apparently.  And some of these "build around" pics are astonishing really.

 

It's an eccentric guy who has owned the lot for decades.  I talked to someone who knows him but I didn't get an explanation for why he is holding out.   Believe it or not but there used to be a very small gas station on this lot, similar to the tiny disused on McMicken near Mohawk Corner.   

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