Greene Dreams Owner Says County Is Harassing Him For Blocking Development

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greenedreams.jpg
Greene Dreams has been a Liberty City mainstay for 40 years, but now developers want the space.
Tyrone Greene leans on the glass counter in his family's shoe-repair shop, Greene Dreams, a one-room space crammed with Barack Obama T-shirts, Miami Heat jerseys, and dashikis. A mural just around the corner from NW Seventh Avenue and 62nd Street sums up Greene's place in Miami's largest African-American neighborhood: "Heart of Liberty City," the painting says, just above a blood-red heart.


"We've been here 48 years," Greene says. "We've been through I don't know how many hurricanes, through the 1980 riots, through everything."

But now Greene claims the county is harassing him so he will leave and officials can move forward with a $54 million plan to tear down the whole block for a mixed-use development.
There was a bogus code violation for a leaky roof, a questionable citation for lingering garbage, and even a refusal to cash his rent check.

Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson is the plan's prime mover. She refuses to promise his business a place in the new project, he contends. "Audrey Edmonson is not for the people in this community," Greene says. "I've never seen anything like what's happening to us."

Greene's father, Willie James Greene, opened the store in 1962. He stuck it out through poverty, natural disaster, and rampant crime. When thousands rioted after cops were cleared of fatally beating insurance salesman Arthur McDuffie in 1980, most of the block was destroyed. But Greene Dreams was untouched.

The project to overhaul the corner was proposed in 2004 as the $86 million Martin Luther King Transit Village. That plan stalled in 2007. Edmonson resurrected the idea last year, and the new "transit village" calls for 200-plus apartments, bus terminals, and storefronts.

By this past spring, the county had bought most of the properties on the block. Soon, Greene was fined for uncollected garbage -- even though, he says, it was the county's job to pick it up. Then, in November, Greene found a citation taped to his front door ordering him to vacate within a week because of an "unsafe" leaky roof. With the help of the nearby Miami Workers Center, he stayed.

The roof indeed leaks, Greene says, but the county owns the building. "They're the slumlord, and it's their responsibility to fix these problems," he says.

Also, Greene says, county officials tried to refuse his rent check for October until he resent it through an official courier.

Edmonson declined to comment about Greene's complaints.

Greene says he's willing to go along with the development -- as long as he gets to have a place in it. "This neighborhood is finally improving, and now you're going to tell me I have to pack up and leave?" he says. "No way. We are not going away."
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1 comments
gussiemcknight
gussiemcknight

I HAVE 2 PAIRS OF SHOES INVESTED WITH MR. T. GREENE, AND HIS SHOE SHOP SINCE 2012/DECEMBER.......I HAVE EXHAUSTED ALL EFFORTS TO GET MR. GREENE AND HIS FAMILY TO PLEASE LET ME HAVE MY SHOES, (THAT I  NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET FROM THIS MAN OR HIS FAMILY). I HAVE PAID MR. GREENE TO FIX..., MY 2 PAIRS OF SHOES, I ALSO STILL HAVE MR. GREENE'S LITTLE YELLOW SHOE TICKETS(2),  THAT HIS WIFE GAVE ME AT THE TIME OF PAYMENT.   LISTEN I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE SENTIMENTAL ISSUES, BUT I HAVE SENTIMENTAL ISSUES AS WELL I LOVE-SHOES, AND I WANT MY SHOES.........PURPLE AND LITE GRAY.........PLEASE MR. GRENE GIVE ME MY SHOES.....I AM THE CUSTOMER THAT LIVES IN GA.....U HAVE KEPT MY SHOES LONG ENOUGH, AND YOUR DAUGTHER HAS PROMISED TO MAIL ME MY SHOES SINCE 2012/12....TO NO AVAIL...NOW I HAVE TO TAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS TO GET MY SHOES........

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