South Florida by the numbers: Black achievement in real estate and business

From left: Don Peebles, Tenisha Williams, Robert F. Smith and Teri Williams (Getty, Linkedin)
From left: Don Peebles, Tenisha Williams, Robert F. Smith and Teri Williams (Getty, Linkedin)

“South Florida by the numbers” is a web feature that catalogs the most notable, quirky and surprising real estate statistics.

In recognition of Black History Month, we focus this edition on the evolving and dynamic impact of African-Americans in South Florida real estate and business. From new billionaire residents to visionary developers and record-breaking brokers and innovative entrepreneurs, Black businesspeople continue to be local pillars of intelligence, determination, and creativity — often in the face of tremendous challenges and discrimination. We explore their rich legacy in this edition of “South Florida by the numbers.”

$14.9 million:

List price of real estate magnate Don Peebles and his wife Katrina’s 18,670-square-foot Coral Gables estate, known as Casa Arboles, or “the House of Trees.” Peebles is the founder, chairman, and CEO of the New York-based real estate development firm Peebles Corp., former chairman of Miami-Dade’s tourism bureau, and the developer/owner of The Bath Club. [TheRealDeal]


Number of years it took for Tenisha Williams, CEO of Elite Realty Partners, to establish the largest Black woman-owned real estate firm in South Florida, generating over $100 million in sales during that time. The former county employee manages more than 140 agents in her Miramar-based office. [BlackEnterprise]

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$48.2 million:

Price billionaire Robert F. Smith recently paid for two neighboring North Palm Beach properties. With a net worth that Forbes estimates at $5.2 billion, the CEO of Vista Equity Partners is considered the richest Black person in the US. Smith made headlines in 2019 by announcing his intent to pay off the college debt for the graduating class of Morehouse College in Atlanta. [TheRealDeal]


Number of counties in which the South Florida Black Prosperity Alliance recently held news conferences to unveil its initiative: a nonprofit organization of Black community groups, faith-based institutions, business, and political leaders joining forces to combat inequities and promote prosperity for Blacks in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The alliance intends to address a wide range of inequities — from better infrastructure in Black neighborhoods to providing Black businesses with fair access to government contracting opportunities. [PalmBeachPost]

One (transaction):

New program recently launched by OneUnited Bank, the largest Black-owned bank in the country (and South Florida’s only Black-owned bank), which recommends six transactions that Black Americans should take on to begin their journey toward generational wealth. According to president and co-founder Teri Williams, the bank quadrupled its customer base last year. [NBC]

This column is produced by the Master Brokers Forum, a network of South Florida’s elite real estate professionals where membership is by invitation only and based on outstanding production, as well as ethical and professional behavior.