A black estate developer built a massive real estate development company and a net worth of more than $700 million dollars. How? In the @AyeshaSelden spirit of normalizing black wealth, it’s time for a thread: 👇🏽
Roy Donahue “Don” Peebles is a real estate developer born in Washington D.C. in March of 1960. In 1979, after his freshman year at Rutgers, Peebles dropped out to become a real estate agent and appraiser. Why? 2/13
Originally, Peebles had his life planned out: join Rutgers as a pre-med student, become a doctor, use money to buy real estate. However, at 19 yrs old, Peebles thought “why wait?”, apprenticed at his mother’s real estate appraiser business, and then shortly launched his own. 3/13
Real estate is highly regulated, so networking was key. He built a relationship with DC Mayor Marion Berry during his 1982 re-election campaign, Peebles was offered a spot on the DC property tax appeals board where he learned how to navigate gov’t agencies and their ppl. 4/13
With this knowledge in mind, he left the appeals board to build another business helping property owners appeal their tax assessments. These relationships helped build his investment philosophy: uncover oppty, craft a vision, sell it to others, and then execute as promised. 5/13
Peebles knew that he wanted to own properties and not just facilitate real estate transactions. Using the cash from his tax assessment business and OPM, Peebles started in 1986 to buy property, after property, after property. He became a multi-millionaire at 27. 6/13
However, in 1994, after losing two negotiations with the city for two buildings (despite having what Peebles believed was the better offer). Peebles needed a break from DC and took a vacation to Miami. 7/13
The vacation was a success, so much so that Peebles and his wife moved to Miami because they loved the energy of the city. This placed him in Miami at a start of the 1990s real estate boom. 8/13
After seeing a hotel sell for $5m (after being sold for only $900k just three years earlier), Peebles worked his political operating skills to help him win approval to develop the Royal Palms Hotel in 1996. Peebles continued to purchase property in the Miami region. 9/13
Overtime, Peebles expanded to develop properties in NYC, Philly, Charlotte, Boston, & LA. The Peebles Corporation is now the largest black real estate development company with a multi-billion dollar portfolio. In 2015, Forbes estimated his net worth to be over $700m. 10/13
The best part of his story? He is looking to pay it forward. Peebles has launched a $500M fund to invest in emerging minority & women developers, with a emphasis on building affordable housing. More info on this fund: peeblescorp.com/emerging-devel… 11/13
Key takeaways: 1) Ownership is a must. 2) Always be on the lookout for waves and trends that you can ride. 3) As @JoePompliano regularly mentions, always bet on yourself. 4) Win, and help win. 12/13
If you enjoyed this thread, follow me. I am an avid reader of biographies and memoirs and I will be sharing more stories like this one. 13/13 #BlackWealth

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