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Eatonville Can Balance History And Development, Says Advisor

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Sign marker for the Town Hall in Eatonville, Florida, the first all-black town to be incorporated in the United States on 15 August 1887. Photo: Sydney Poore

The Historic Black Towns and Settlements Historic Preservation Conference is part of the 26th annual Zora Festival, honoring the life and work of author Zora Neale Hurston.

Richmond McCoy, CEO of Urban America Advisors, who’ll be at the conference, says some of the challenges facing Eatonville include generational poverty and unemployment.

“A lot of these issues could be and should be addressed in whatever development that goes forward,” says McCoy.

McCoy says Eatonville has an opportunity with the 100 acre site of the old Robert Hungerford Preparatory High School. He’s confident a developer will buy the site, but there must be input from residents.

Plans for a controversial multi-million dollar development on the site were last year put on hold.

McCoy says Eatonville also has an opportunity to promote itself as a tourism destination.

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »