Widow won’t sign, and that puts timeshare giant in a bind
The Associated Press
18 August 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. — There’s a new twist in the standoff between an
octogenarian widow in Florida who refused to sell her townhome and the
giant developer that constructed a timeshare resort around her vacant,
two-story building anyway.
In order to get a county permit for tenants to move into the new
timeshare units, the company needs her signature — and she’s not giving
it. That prompted the parent company of Westgate Resorts to sue Orange
County, Florida, this month, demanding that the county issue the
occupancy permit anyway.
The timeshare giant’s lawsuit is the latest development in the ongoing
fight between Julieta Corredor and Westgate Resorts. Corredor was the
last owner in her condominium development who refused to sell to
Westgate so it could build the new timeshare complex in the heart of
Orlando’s tourist district. The company tweaked its plans, but moved
forward, building a seven-story, multimillion-dollar edifice within
feet of the Corredor townhome.
The 82-year-old woman’s townhome was damaged when a contractor for the
timeshare company was clearing the site for the construction of
Westgate’s timeshare complex. No one now lives in the property, which
was used as a vacation home by the South Florida-based Corredor family.
The home, which Westgate said the family has not used in more than a
decade, has now been deemed uninhabitable because of the damage.
Orange County officials have told Westgate their contractor needs a
demolition permit for the unpermitted work done on Corredor’s building
before it will grant the occupancy permit for one building and a
building permit for the second building in the timeshare complex. That
requires the signature of Corredor, who has so far steadfastly refused
all of the company’s offers to buy out her unit.
“The fact that Westgate apparently undertook demolition without proper
permitting from Orange County, substantially damaging Mrs. Corredor’s
condominium in the process and rendering it uninhabitable, is one of
the big reasons that we’re in this mess,” said Corredor’s attorney,
County spokeswoman Doreen Overstreet said the county wouldn’t comment
due to the pending litigation. Corredor and her sons weren’t named as
defendants in the lawsuit, although their fight with Westgate looms
large over the complaint.
In emails filed with the court, a lawyer for Westgate complained that
the county’s decision not to issue the occupancy permit is costing
Westgate “tens of thousands of dollars every day.” The lawsuit said the
company has passed all final inspections and that the county has “a
clear legal ministerial duty” to issue the occupancy permit.
The county also told Westgate it needs to make repairs to the Corredor
home in order to get the permit, and that also requires Corredor’s
signature. That’s something she is willing to sign off on, provided she
gets all the details on the proposed repairs, her attorney said.
Officials at the timeshare company said they’ve offered to rebuild the
Corredors’ unit at the same or a new location and provide $50,000 in
furnishings. They’ve presented an offer of a $150,000 cash buy-out, and
they’ve said they’re willing to offer a comparable, newly-renovated
unit in a different building. The Corredors have repeatedly said “no.”
The Corredors have said that their case is a matter of principle on property rights and that they feel bullied by Westgate.
The Corredors have two lawsuits pending against Westgate. There have
been no steps toward settlement talks since the beginning of the year,