How real-life Up homeowner forced developers to build shopping mall around her house despite £770,000 offer to move

A STUBBORN homeowner said to the inspiration for Disney film Up forced developers to build a mall around her 108-year-old house.

Edith Macefield moved in with her mother in 1952, and five decades later refused to leave even when she was offered £770,000.

The owner of the Seattle home, Edith Macefield, refused to sell to developers

Edith first turned down $750,000 (£576,000) – far more than her home in Seattle, Washington, was worth.

Developers then upped the offer to $1million (£770,000) but she again refused to move.

She said she didn’t want the stress of moving when her story hit the headlines in 2006.

The then 84-year-old pensioner caused a massive headache for the property developers during long drawn-out negotiations.

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Despite this, she became close friend with construction manager Barry Martin, who helped her with favours, including making her meals and giving her lifts to appointments.

The two became so close that Edith left the house to Martin when she died in 2008.

By then, the mall had been built around her little plot, which became a much-loved local landmark.

Martin though had to sell the property – for just a third of the previous highest offer – when he was made unemployed during an economic downturn.

The pensioner gave him her blessing before she died to sell up.

He said: “She told me to hold out until I got my price. I sold it for $310,000 (£238,100).”

Edith’s story was reported to be the inspiration for the 2009 Disney movie Up, about an old man who also refuses to make way for developers.

Disney claimed production on the film began in 2004.

But it used the house for PR when the film premiered in Seattle and decorated the roof with balloons.

The story had a happy ending too with the developers eventually promising to save the house from demolition in April 2018.

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When rumours spread the property was going to be knocked down, a rally was organised but when those rumours proved to be unfounded it turned into a celebration.

At the time Ballard Blocks developer, Regency Centers, told local news station Q13 News the house would stay and become part of a new development Ballard Blocks 2.

The property, seen here in 2009, was surrounded by a mall complex

The property, seen here in 2009, was surrounded by a mall complexCredit: CBS News

The local landmark faced demolition again in 2015 but was saved

The local landmark faced demolition again in 2015 but was savedCredit: Getty

Edith's story was said to have inspired Disney film Up

Edith’s story was said to have inspired Disney film UpCredit: Reuters

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