“[Miami Beach] doesn’t want what [you’re] selling!!!!”
Per the Miami Herald in 2017, this was then Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine‘s reaction to AirBnB wanting to do business in the city.
Levine went on to tweet that while he loved AirBnB, in Miami Beach they would be “destroying neighborhoods/buildings [with] short term rentals.” He amplified this point on Facebook, saying that AirBnB “destroys neighborhoods, buildings, decreases real estate values and increases costs for workforce housing!!!!!”
Then he accused the company of “strong arm Mafia tactics!!”
In that context, it was ironic that Levine’s event in Jacksonville Wednesday was at a home used at least part-time for AirBnB.
The event host told us she and her husband split her time between Jacksonville and another city, and the home in the Riverside area is available for short-term rentals when they were out of town.
We did not ask the event host if real estate values had been depressed due to her decision to rent the home out sometimes. Nor did we ask about the impact on workforce housing.
Christian Ulvert, spokesman for Levine, characterized the former mayor’s strident anti-AirBnB position in 2017 as being due to the company being “not the right thing for Miami Beach.”
“He loves AirBnB,” Ulvert said, but Levine also “believes in local control.”
Levine was in Jacksonville as part of his ongoing multi-city tour of the state.