On last night's Hot Talk with Chief Jimmie Brown on WHQT Hot 105, Tyrone Greene, owner of Greene Dreams Shoe Repair, spoke of the humiliation he and his family are enduring at the hands of local government, in particular, Miami-Dade County. Greene, accompanied by his wife Paulette, brother Vernon and Attorney Roderick Vereen, went into more detail on the business's eviction, demolishing of the business space, and what it means to the community. Greene's version of actions also disputes published reports and public comment by officials about this situation.
Greene has a lease that is valid until May 2014 for the now demolished building. He has taken his case to court twice and won. The City of Miami declared the building housing Greene Dreams Shoe Repair an unsafe structure. Greene asserts the County bought the building in 2009, allowed it to fall into disrepair to get his business and others out of the space so the County can begin construction on the 7th Avenue Transit Village in Liberty City. The Transit Village is a planned mixed-use site housing a bus depot, businesses and apartments. There is a lot of money involved in the project and the Greenes were definitely holding up progress for the County and the Carlisle Group, the developers of this project.
Here are some interesting points that were shared:
- The County asserted it would cost $500,000 - $600,000 to repair the roof. Vereen said a judge said it would cost about $5,000 to repair the roof over the shoe repair shop.
- Greene said while County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson was on Tuesday Talk on 1490 WMBM, she stated that he had not paid rent for the space in a year. Greene said he has never been behind in paying the rent.
- Greene said he was forced to purchase a million dollar insurance policy for the space.
- According to Greene, other businesses that were tenants in the building vacated earlier because they did not have a lease as he did. The Greene family had been in the same location for 50 years.
Chief Brown invited Commissioner Audrey Edmonson or someone from her staff to call in to discuss the situation. No one called by the end show and Chief Brown left the offer open. Blogging Black Miami will reach out to the Commissioner for comment also.
Attorney Vereen indicated that the business has agreed to the relocation option and will move directly across the street. Their new address will be 645 NW 62 Street. They should be open for business in the new space by Wednesday. Vereen also indicated his clients might seek an injunction to delay construction of the 7th Avenue Transit Village Project until their lease has expired in 2014.
A caller inquired about financial assistance for the Greenes while they continue their fight. Contributions can be made to The Law Offices of Roderick Vereen* and mailed to:
The Law Offices of Roderick Vereen
PO Box 680967
Miami, FL 33168
* Include Greene Dreams Shoe Repair in memo section.
The issue of the lack of black owned businesses also was also discussed on the show. It was pointed out that there are very few businesses in the area of seventh avenue and MLK Boulevard actually owned by blacks. Other ethnic groups recognize the current and future value of property in our community and have become the business owners, property owners and landlords. If you don't own property or businesses in the community then you are left with tenancy and are at the mercy of your landlord. It's time to wake up, pay attention to what's going on locally, nationally and globally and take action.