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The Big Win: Learning from the Legends to Become a More Successful Investor by Stephen L. Weiss

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Chapter 9

Opportunity Is Where You Find It

R. Donahue Peebles

Don Peebles is a big man with ambitions and a track record of achievements to match his stature. He set out to be a millionaire by the time he was 30 and beat his own goal by three years. He took his talents to Florida and helped reinvent the spirit as well as the look of Miami Beach. The Peebles Corporation, the country’s largest African American real estate development company, with a multibillion-dollar national portfolio, is comprised of office buildings, hotels, residential developments, and mixed-use complexes in cities across the country—all notable, as Peebles intended, for “something more than bricks and mortar.” In real estate parlance, they are Class A properties.

Get ready, New York. Don Peebles has arrived, he is primed to capitalize on what he sees as the city’s “unique creativity and ingenuity,” and he is eager to do business.

He does not come unprepared or unconnected. A long-time summer resident of the fabled Hamptons on Long Island, Peebles has widespread relationships among the business and political movers and shakers who can help make things happen in New York or any other market. He is himself a player in national and local philanthropic efforts and has been a formidable political fundraiser for the likes of Presidents Clinton and Obama, to name just two.

But this is a man who grew up with, as he says, no sense of “limitations or impediments” to what he could achieve, and New York, as the biggest ...

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