A Liberty City business owner was brought to tears after watching his shop turn to rubble Friday. NBC 6 reporter Sharon Lawson spoke to Tyrone Greene, the owner of Greene Dreams Shoe Repair. Miami-Dade County spokeswoman Karla Damian also was interviewed.
A Liberty City business owner was brought to tears after watching his shop turn to rubble Friday.
"4:30 in the morning, the city of Miami came and broke my door down. The boys started doing a construction eviction while we done paid the rent,” Tyrone Greene said.
He is the proud owner of Greene Dreams Shoe Repair, located at NW 62nd Street and 6th Court. He inherited the business from his late father decades ago.
"I was born on this corner. I was a little boy shining shoes and taking out bags,” Greene said.
But after city officials deemed the structure unsafe, he was ordered to leave Friday morning.
"For his safety and the safety of his customers, he couldn't stay there,” Miami-Dade County spokeswoman Karla Damian said.
The county owns the building, which houses several other shops. Rather than fix the structure, which would cost taxpayers about $600,000, officials opted to build the NW 7th Avenue Transit Village Project.
"It’s gonna be very useful for the community, beneficial for the community,” Damian said.
The $50 million project will have a complex with 140 housing units for families and seniors. It will also serve as a small transit hub and theater.
Greene said the county and city evicted him without notice, when his lease expires in April 2014.
“It’s unfortunate that it has come to this,” Damian said.
County officials said he was warned about two years ago.
"He also was offered the option of coming back to the same location or the same area for the same amount that he was paying rent before,” Damian said.
It’s too little, too late for a family-owned business passionate about its historic roots, and now uprooted.
"How can you be in business for 50 years, a landmark, you come and do a landmark like that, because they want to let a great developer come in? But the devil is a liar,” Greene said.
County officials say they are still willing to work with Greene.
Their project, which started in October, is slated for completion in the fall of 2015.