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.
Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones:
Overtown (in green):