R. Donahue Peebles

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R. Donahue Peebles
R. Donahue Peebles.jpg
R. Donahue (Don) Peebles
Roy Donahue Peebles

(1960-03-02) March 2, 1960 (age 58)
Washington D.C.
Known forReal estate development
Peebles Corporation
TitleFounder, Chairman and CEO
WebsiteOfficial website

Roy Donahue “Don” Peebles (born March 2, 1960) is a real estate entrepreneur, author, and political activist. Peebles is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Peebles Corporation,[1] a development company of luxury hotels, high-rise residential and commercial properties in New York City,[2] Washington, D.C.,[3] Philadelphia, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Miami Beach.[4] Peebles owns 100% of The Peebles Corporation according to corporate disclosure documents.[5][6][7] In April 2015, Black Enterprise named Peebles as one of the "Business Trailblazers and Titans of Black America: 40 most powerful African Americans in business". [8]

In May 2009, Forbes listed Peebles in the top ten of the wealthiest black Americans,[9] and in January 2015 it estimated his net worth to be over $700 million.[10]


Peebles was born in Washington, D.C. to Ruth Yvonne Willoughby and Roy Donahue Peebles Sr.[11] His grandfather was a doorman at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel [12] in Washington D.C. Peebles has said that assisting his father as car mechanic while still a child contributed to his strong work ethic.[13] At the age of eight, Peebles moved to Detroit, where he spent five years until returning to Washington D.C.[14] at 13 and completed high school while serving as a Congressional Page.[15]


In 1979, after his freshman year as a student at Rutgers University Peebles dropped out[1] and became a real estate sales agent and appraiser in Washington, D.C. On January 9, 1983, at the age of 23, he established RDP Corporation, a residential and commercial real estate appraisal firm. Later that year, he was appointed to Washington’s Board of Equalization and Review by Marion Barry, the real estate tax appeals board currently known as the Board of Real Property Assessments and Appeals. One year later, when Peebles was 24, Washington’s Mayor Marion Barry appointed him Chairperson of the Board[4] where he served until 1988.[1]

In 1986, a Peebles led partnership acquired the site for his first real estate development project: a 100,000-square-foot (9,300 m2) Class-A office building at 2100 Martin Luther King Ave. SE.[16] The building was the first new major commercial building built in the Anacostia section of Washington, D.C. in decades. Peebles was 27 when the project broke ground.[17]

In 1990, Peebles founded RDP Assessment Appeals Services, a Washington-based commercial tax assessment appeals firm. Peebles continued to acquire commercial buildings and development sites in Washington, D.C. throughout the 1990s, including 10 G Street NE, and the Convention Center Courtyard by Marriott.[18]

In 1996, while on vacation with his family in Miami Beach, Peebles learned of the city’s plans to solicit bids for the redevelopment of the 1930s Royal Palm hotel.[19] Peebles won the project, developing it into a 420-room and suite ocean-front resort consisting of three towers, in the heart of Miami Beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The Royal Palm Resort became the nation’s first major hotel developed and owned by an African American. [20] Other Miami projects include The Residences at The Bath Club, a luxury residential tower,[1] developed on the historic Bath Club property. The Bath Club originally opened in 1926 was one of Floridia’s then discriminatory “restricted” clubs not permitting black or Jewish members. In 1996 Peebles became the club’s first African American Member and in 1998 signed an agreement to purchase it. Peebles also co-developed The Lincoln, a mixed-use development featuring Class A office space in South Beach. In the early 2000’s Peebles expanded into San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York.

In November 2010, D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles sued Peebles’ company for alleged overbilling; Peebles maintained the charges were politically motivated due to his opposition to then Mayor Adrian Fenty failed re-election bid earlier that year. A D.C. Superior Court dismissed most of the claims against Peebles. [21] The suit was settled in November 2012 by Nickles’ successor, D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan for $120,000, a fraction of the initial claim.[22] The court accepted the settlement, and dismissed as moot the over-billing claims.[23]

Peebles had been a member of the Real Estate Board of New York’s Board of Governors,[24] the former Chairman of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau,[25] an invitee to then-President-elect Clinton’s 1992 Economic Summit in Arkansas, and in 2013 was named to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez’s Mayoral Business Roundtable. [26]

Peebles developed properties in Miami; Miami Beach; Washington, D.C.; and has current or pending developments in process in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, N.C., Miami and Los Angeles.

His present development projects include: 108 Leonard Street (a.k.a. 346 Broadway), a luxury hotel and condominiums in Manhattan’s landmarked “Clocktower Building;” in a joint venture with El-Ad Group.[27] , 1801 Vine Street, a luxury boutique hotel in Philadelphia’s historic Family Court Building;[28] and The SLS Hotel and Residences, a luxury hotel and condominiums in Washington, D.C.’s Mount Vernon Triangle;[29] a large scale hotel, retail and residential mixed use development called Viola in Boston's Back Bay,[30][31] and a 17-acre development consisting of 12 buildings with a mixture of uses including two hotels, office, apartment and residential condominium buildings in Charlotte, N.C. Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. The project has been named Brooklyn Village.[32] A Peebles JV team was awarded the exclusive rights by the Los Angeles Community Development Agency to develop the tallest building in the western United States in downtown Los Angeles. The project, Angles Landing is expected to cost $1.2 billion to build. It’s estimated that Peebles current developments have costs in excess of $3 billion.

In 2016 Peebles told DNAinfo that he had requested a return of a $20,000 contribution his company had made to a PAC formed by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio represented to support universal Pre-K for NYC children when he discovered the funds were being used to fund political mailers to advance development projects favored by de Blasio.[33]


In 2004, Peebles was elected as chairman of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and has been recognized by various organizations for his leadership and innovation. Also in 2004, the Peebles Corporation was recognized by Black Enterprise as "Company of the Year."[34]

He was named “Trailblazer of the Year” by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association in 2016[35]

In 2017, the New York City Mission Society honored Peebles with its “Champions for Children” award.[36][37]


Peebles is a Democrat. He and his wife have supported various congressional, mayoral, gubernatorial, and presidential candidates over the years. In the early 1990s, Washington Business Journal wrote an article citing Peebles as one of the “top fundraisers” in the city. In 1992, he hosted presidential hopeful and Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton in his home for a fundraiser.[38] Peebles served as a member of President Barack Obama's National Finance Committee for the President’s 2008 election and 2012 reelection campaign.[39][40] in May 2008 Peebles hosted then Senator Obama for a campaign fundraiser at The Bath Club and later hosted President Obama at the home he owned in Washington D.C. for a campaign fundraiser on August 8, 2011.[41]

In 2010, Peebles considered running to become mayor of Washington, but he decided against a run due to his mother-in-law's illness.[4] Peebles' mother-in-law died later that year.

In 2013, Peebles was elected vice chairman of the board of directors of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.[42] In July 2015, he was elevated to chairperson of the CBCF's board of directors and re-elected in February 2016 ,[43][44][45] a role he held until February 2017 when he reached his term limit on the board. Peebles was the only non-member of Congress to be elected to the position of Chair of the CBCF.

Peebles' advocacy for minority and women owned businesses, a more business friendly environment, and expansion of Charter Schools raised speculation[46] that he was a potential candidate to challenge de Blasio for re-election in the 2017 election cycle for the term beginning January 2018, however, Peebles did not enter the race citing wanting to teach his then 22 year old son, a recent graduate from Columbia University, the real,estate business and to spend time with his 14 year old daughter during her last four years at home before college. [47][48][49]

Personal life[edit]

Peebles moved to Miami, Florida, in 1998 then Coral Gables in 2001,[50] has homes in Bridgehampton, Coral Gables and New York City,[51] and lives in Coral Gables and New York City with his wife Katrina, whom he married in 1994,[52] is a former PR executive[53] and model that serves on the Board of Directors of the Peebles Corporation, and their daughter.[38]

His son Donahue is a Columbia University graduate and is currently working as the Senior Associate of Development at The Peebles Corporation, where he is leading the company’s Washington, D.C. development efforts,[54][55] His daughter Chloe is an equestrian competitor and two sport student athlete.[56]


  • The Peebles Principles: Tales and Tactics from an Entrepreneur's Life of Winning Deals, Succeeding in Business, and Creating a Fortune from Scratch. R. Donahue Peebles with J. P. Faber. John Wiley and Sons (2007). ISBN 0-470-09930-5.
  • The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth: How to Make Money in Any Market. R. Donahue Peebles with J. P. Faber. John Wiley and Sons (2008). ISBN 0-470-37280-X.


  1. ^ a b c d Hughes, Allan (June 2004). "The Prince of South Beach: R. Donahue Peebles has built a real estate empire with the posh and a pipeline of deals in South Florida. And he's not finished yet". Black Enterprise. Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc., hosted on BNET. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  2. ^ Gould Keil, Jennifer (December 12, 2013). "Peebles buys Stanford White building for $160M". New York Post. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  3. ^ Cubé, Christine (October 28, 2002). "Peebles turns up heat". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Schwartzman, Paul; Nikita Stewart (6 January 2010). "Millionaire Peebles says he won't run for mayor of D.C." Washington Post. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
  5. ^ Burkins, Glenn (16 Jun 2016). "Brooklyn Village: What's in it for Black Charlotte?". Qcitymetro.
  6. ^ Harrison, Steve (15 Jun 2016). "Mecklenburg County selects $683.3 million vision for Brooklyn Village project". Charlotte Observer. CharlotteObserver.com.
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  11. ^ Smith, Timothy (22 December 2010). "Roy D. Peebles Sr., 80: Federal employee, mechanic". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
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  15. ^ Peebles, R. Donahue (2007). The Peebles Principles. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 3, 4. ISBN 978-0-470-09930-8.
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  24. ^ Morris, Keiko (December 10, 2014). "Real Estate Board of New York Names New President". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
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  26. ^ "Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez's launches the Mayoral "Business Roundtable"". Miami-Dade County. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
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  28. ^ Adelman, Jacob (31 Jan 2017). "Family Court hotel project on the Parkway gets boost from renovation-plan action". Philadelphia Media Network, LLC. Philly.com.
  29. ^ Jordan, John (May 12, 2014). "Peebles-Walker Team Selected by DC to Build Hotel". GlobeSt.com. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  30. ^ Adams, Steve (9 Apr 2017). "Breaking Down Barriers In Back Bay". The Warren Group. Banker and Tradesman. Archived from the original on 2017-04-21. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
  31. ^ Boston RFP. "The Viola: An Iconic Mixed-Use Development". bostonplans.org. Boston Planning & Development Agency.
  32. ^ Portillo, Ely (12 Aug 2016). "Marshall Park is on its way out – but will new development have enough park space?". Charlotte Observer. CharlotteObserver.com.
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  36. ^ Sabino, Catherine (10 Apr 2017). "Glitterati Honor Diahann Caroll, Don Peebles at NYC Mission Society Gala". Haute Media Group. Haute Living.
  37. ^ "New York City Mission Society Hosts Annual Champions For Children Benefit". Look To The Stars. looktothestars.org. 13 Apr 2017.
  38. ^ a b "Katrina L. Peebles". The Peebles Corporation. Archived from the original on 2012-08-22. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
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  54. ^ Johnson, Richard (22 Dec 2015). "Don Peebles' son is ready for dad to be mayor". New York Post. Page Six.
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  56. ^ "2012 Competition Results". United States Equestrian Federation. Retrieved 24 September 2012.

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