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Bank Being Built Next to Holdout Homeowner

June 26, 1997|From Associated Press

DALLAS — A 90-year-old man refused to sell his longtime home to make room for construction of a bank, so the bank decided to simply wrap its building around the house, horseshoe-style.

When Overton Bank & Trust Dallas opens in mid-August, an automated teller machine will dispense cash 15 feet from where Ramon Rodriguez sleeps. Drive-through customers will idle in front of his kitchen window.

He does not have an account at Overton and doesn't plan to get one, either.

"I've lived here for 50 years, so why do they think I'd move now?" Rodriguez said as he rested in a rickety rocking chair on his front porch, less than 50 yards from the busy Dallas Tollway. "I don't care what they're building--I'm not going anywhere."

Rodriguez said more than memories stand in the way of his decision to leave the modest home where he and his wife, now deceased, reared four children. He now shares the house with his scruffy dog, Baby.

"They just haven't offered me enough money," said the former chauffeur. He said the bank's best offer was $68,000--"a joke."

"I know the house may not be worth much, but I know that the land, being right off this big road, must be worth a lot," he said. The home, on one-tenth of an acre, was appraised at $86,350 in 1996.

Jim Johnston, president and division manager of Overton, said the bank offered more than $68,000, but he would not say how much.

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