Is Emmitt Smith The Next Magic Johnson?

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(theLoop21) — When it comes to black athletes becoming successful businessmen the gold standard in recent history has been Earvin “Magic” Johnson. But it might be time for the Magic man to make room for the National Football League’s all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith. Just like on the gridiron Smith is running hard on the business field as well. His company ESmith Legacy is close to breaking ground on a hotel project on 125th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem. Not only is Smith modeling Magic’s practice of developing high profile properties in inner cities, but by utilizing $20 million in ARRA bonds (more commonly known as stimulus bonds) as well as New Market Tax Credits to build the 177-room, Hyatt-managed hotel with 100,000 square feet of retail space, Smith deserves some love from Congress and the Obama Administration for showing that government incentives can and do help stimulate the economy. To put a finer point on things ESmith Legacy President Brian Morris has gone on record calling the federal incentives a “linchpin.”

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