Overtown Residents: ‘Disrespectful’ To Negotiate With White All Aboard Florida Prez (Update)

A decision by the director of Overtown’s CRA to negotiate with All Aboard Florida has drawn an angry response and blatant racism from some members of the community.

The Miami Herald reports that CRA director Clarence Woods was criticized by commissioner Michelle Spence Jones and neighborhood residents for ‘disrespecting’ black developer Don Peebles by negotiating with both Peebles and All Aboard Florida for lots controlled by the CRA. Woods had directed CRA staff to negotiate with both bidders, but residents wanted All Aboard Florida excluded from negotiations because the president of the company is white.

Earlier, a three person ‘selection committee’ ranked Peebles and All Aboard Florida as the top two bidders (see the bid sheets here).

The CRA board is expected to select one of the two proposals at a meeting later today.

Historians say that Overtown was once a thriving black neighborhood until I-95 was built through it in the 1960s.

 Update: The two competing teams have agreed to a joint bid

Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones:

Overtown (in green):


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ha, Overtown is so nice now, with empty lots and abandoned buildings, and do not go at night . like always black are the first racist. Don Peblees is not complete black , he is mix and his wife a kids are not black ether, so from where come those comment from the commissioner Michelle? and why she has to put race first instead of being happy that people whatever they color are, wan to develop in that area.


because she needs blacks to remain poor and uneducated otherwise she wont win another election…


Wow, I know headlines are supposed to grab the attention of people but this one is definitely over the top. The residents and Michelle Spencer Jones weren’t arguing that it was disrespectful to the Peebles (black) to talk to the All Aboard Florida president (white) simply because of race.

The issue was that after looking at the proposals normally you choose the winner and then begin negotiating with that winner. If for some reason you couldn’t reach an agreement then and only then would you start negotiations with the runner up. However in this case Woods decided to negotiate with Peebles (winner) and All Aboard Florida (one of the two losers) at the same time. If Peebles was white it would still be disrespectful.

Now Wood’s argument is that they are under a time crunch and if the deal falls through with Peebles if they have to go back to All Aboard Florida they won’t have enough time to properly negotiate. But then I’m sure many people would think if somehow All Aboard Florida would have been the winner they wouldn’t have started negotiating with Peebles on that same premise.


So sick of the race card!!! Where were they when the neighborhood was a dump (still is); why didn’t they cry back then. All of the sudden they are “protecting” their land??? come on!!! who’s racist here.