A Florida cottage owner – who says he doesn’t have a computer, smartphone, or access to the internet – is tackling a big developer’s plans to set up new high-rise apartments in his neighbourhood.
Julliano Jeyamo, 68, refuses to budge on selling his tiny Flagler Village home – which he bought for $46,000 in 2001, despite a two-year battle he appears to be losing.
In a real life Up! – a Disney Pixar film in which a man holds out in his house while the area around him is replaced by skyscrapers, with the only way to save it is to turn it into a hot air balloon – Jeyamo insists no money could sway him.
The man, originally from Israel, told the Sun Sentinel: ‘I don’t want to sell. This is my house. I wouldn’t sell it for any amount of money.’
The two-bedroom property, at 878 square-feet, which built in 1931 is set to be swallowed by Quantum Flagler Village – a $160 million development with two apartment buildings, a Marriott and a parking garage.
A Florida cottage owner – who says he doesn’t have a computer, smartphone, or access to the internet – is tackling a big developer’s plans to set up new high-rise apartments
Jeyamo has mourned his trees, which he claims the ‘monster project’ has ‘killed’ since beginning work in mid-2019, including royal palms which lined his humble residence.
‘You can’t imagine all the damage he did in my garden,’ he added, speaking to the Sun Sentinel.
‘My grandfather gave me a bonsai 30 years ago. They poured concrete on it and it’s now dead. They killed my trees, all my shrubs.
‘I lost my tangerine tree. The tree is dead now, all brown. My trees are dead for one reason, because they poured cement on them.’
However the developer’s attorney Vincent Vaccarella claims Jeyamo willingly and knowingly signed an agreement to allow them to work in the yard and accepted a $5,500 check he was handed by Prime Group CEO Edward Abbo to cover damages to his property through February 2021.
Julliano Jeyamo (pictured), 68, refuses to budge on selling his tiny Flagler Village home – which he bought for $46,000 in 2001, despite a two-year battle he appears to be losing
On what is understood to be his LinkedIn, it appears Abbo is no longer the developer’s CEO as of November 2021. A Larry Abbo is now listed as CEO on the company’s website.
According to Jeyamo, he was by Abbo requested to sign a blank paper to prove he accepted a check in September, claiming the first time he saw an ‘agreement’ allowing workers to go into his home was on October 15.
Moreover Jeyamo says he estimates total damages are at least $14,500 higher at more than $20,000.
He told the Sun Sentinel: ‘He tricked me. It says I can’t sue him and I can’t even complain about him to the city. I would never have signed that.’
Vaccarella says the developers have attempted to work with Jeyamo and ‘tried to be good neighbours’.
He told the newspaper: ‘From our perspective, we are trying to be respectful and coordinate access. But since December it’s been frustrating for Prime to communicate with Mr. Jeyamo.
Vacarella said his client would like to gain access to Jeyamo’s property to finish work on the exterior wall, which still needs be coated with stucco, and has offered to move or replace the palm trees
Jeyamo’s trees. Vaccarella says the developers have attempted to work with Jeyamo and ‘tried to be good neighbours’
‘It’s been a parade of things that have kept (construction crews) from gaining access. He’s denied access to the property.
‘We’ve tried to be good neighbors. He’s made a number of agreements that he’s gone back on.’
Jeyamo has also claimed he’s been forced to pick up trash that’s landed in his yard almost every day, and has compared a five-story wall facing his home to one in Alcatraz.
Vacarella said his client would like to gain access to Jeyamo’s property to finish work on said exterior wall, which still needs be coated with stucco, and has offered to move or replace the palm trees.
However Jeyamo claims there is no room to put up scaffolding, which would be needed to do the stucco as the ‘trees are hugging the wall’.
According to Fort Lauderdale’s director of Development Services Anthony Fajardo, the developer is allowed to build right up to property line thanks to high-density zoning in the neighbourhood.
Commissioner Steve Glassman, who represents the neighbourhood, said Jeyamo has reached out to his office but hasn’t spoken with him directly.
He told the Sentinel he was ‘surprised’ to hear how close the trees were to the building.
In a real life Up! – a Disney Pixar film in which a man hold out in his house while the area around him is replaced by skyscrapers, with the only way to save it is to turn it into a hot air balloon – Jeyamo says no money could sway him
In December Jeyamo submitted a note to the court saying he never granted permission for workers to be allowed on his property.
Prime Group took him to court with the hope that a judge could force Jeyamo to let crews in to finish the job, and a judge ruled in the developer’s favour in March, granting an emergency injunction.
Jeyamo plans to appeal and now has a lawyer – Attorney Michael Garcia – who was hired on December 10.
Garcia told the Sun Sentinel: ‘He really just wanted his peace and quiet. He just wants to be left alone and his property not damaged.’
Charlie Ladd, a local developer, told the Sentinel Jeyano could likely et $800,000 if he sold his home.
MailOnline has also reached out to Prime Group and Quantum Flagler Village for a comment.
On its website, Quantum Flagler Village is described as ‘an exciting destination combining the best of art, shops, restaurants, pools, bars, residences, entertainment, events and the new Ft. Lauderdale Courtyard by Marriott’.
It boasts providing ‘an oasis of green, shaded pedestrian walks and courtyards’.