Kansas woman, 91, reportedly resisting tempting offer from developer

A Kansas woman who purchased her home 70 years ago for $850 has reportedly been offered $600,000 for the modest residence — but she has no plans of leaving anytime soon.

Georgia Bell, 91, of Lawrence, and her husband bought the one-bedroom, 840-square-foot home near the University of Kansas campus in 1946. Two city developers have recently visited Bell to discuss selling the home to a Chicago developer who wants to build a sprawling residential and retail complex with 156 student housing units, the Kansas City Star reports.

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

City officials and the developer, Jim Heffernan of HERE LLC, have made clear that Bell can stay. They are not seeking to use eminent domain, however.

“We have no desire for that,” Heffernan said.

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The pending complex, which will include restaurants, a rooftop garden and a swimming pool, will be built in a U-shaped fashion, with Bell’s “ramshackle house” nestled inside, the newspaper reports.

Bell, a widow whose 17 parakeets keep her company, reluctantly admits she may have to cave to the lucrative offer.

“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.”