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Dispute resolved in condominium case

There are many condominiums in Melbourne, Florida. Some of those are occupied year-round by permanent residents, and others are let as timeshares. Sometimes, there are disputes over them, which lead to real estate litigation.

Recently, a widow who bought a small vacation condominium 32 years ago sold it for $1.5 million. That was approximately 10 times the amount that she and her late husband bought the place for. The condominium, which has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, was bought by Westgate Lakes LLC, according to records from the Orange County comptrollers' office.

Westgate had made repeated previous offers for the condominium dating back to January 2015, but the widow had turned them all down. Her recalcitrance prevented Westgate from building a set of high-rise timeshare towers at the site, and the company claims that the delay cost them millions. After back-and-forth negotiation, the company and the widow reached an agreement about two months ago, but at the time neither was willing to publicly discuss the sale prices because their agreement had a confidentiality clause.

Westgate Lakes, along with Westgate Resorts, is a part of an Orange County-based holding company called Central Florida Investments Inc., which is led by David A. Siegel, a timeshare mogul. The Orlando Sentinel calculated the sale price by looking at the tax stamps that had been levied on public documents that had been filed for the transfer of the property to Westgate. After the Orlando Sentinel did that, their calculation was confirmed by the comptroller's office.

Westgate had originally claimed to own all of the Sand Lake Village Condominium complex, but in fact it did not own the one the Widow had bought three decades earlier. That fact materially affected Westgate's development application for the high-rise timeshare towers. Now it is able to move forward with the towers, which are expected to cost about $20 million each.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Westgate pays widow $1.5 million for damaged condo, records show," Stephen Hudak, Dec. 21, 2017

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