Society

There's A Real Life "Up" Showdown Taking Place In Lawrence, Kansas

| by Jonathan Wolfe

A strong-willed 91-year-old woman from Lawrence, Kansas is in a showdown with property developers that sounds like it's straight out of Pixar's "Up." 

Meet 91-year-old Georgia Bell. 70 years ago, Bell and her husband paid $850 for the home she lives in today. The modest 840-square-foot home is situated in Lawrence, Kansas. When Bell bought the home, Lawrence was an undeveloped town. Now, with the University of Kansas right across the street, the town is buzzing with thousands of college students and the businesses that keep them entertained. Therein lies the problem.

Developers are eyeing Bell’s plot of land for a new retail and residential complex. But just like the infamous Carl Fredricksen from “Up”, Bell has no intentions of leaving the place she’s always called home.

“I don’t want an apartment or any group living,” she told the Kansas City Star. “I want to keep living like I am.”

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Developers at HERE LLC have said they don’t plan to force Bell off of the property. If she refuses to leave, they’ll work around her – literally. In the event that Bell stays put, the complex will wrap around her home in a U-shape with the home pinned inside.

The company offered Bell a sweet deal for her home recently -- $600,000 for a property valued at $93,500. But Bell still can’t help but feel she’s getting a raw deal.

“I done broke the ice here and now they want to sweep me out,” she said. “I got nowhere to go and it’s like I don’t matter.”

That’s not to say the money isn’t tempting.

“I only weigh 98 pounds,” she said. “I’d like to be a little fleshier. Maybe get my teeth fixed and buy a new car.”

Regardless of where Bell ends up, she makes it clear she won't be checking into an assisted living situation any time soon.

“I don’t have to go to somebody else to get me a drink of water,” she says about life at her current digs. “I want to take my trash out.”

Sources: The Kansas City Star, OKC Fox