Businesses and homeowners say 'don't sell out North Nashville'

Posted at 11:05 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 00:05:54-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Just one week after the deadly tornado tore through Nashville, Joshua Mundy still can't get inside his place of business. Music City Cleaners took a direct hit from the storm, located in the heart of Jefferson Street in a predominately black neighborhood.

Mundy has always had a mission to preserve the black history in North Nashville. Last month, he told Newschannel 5 about black businesses being bought out of the area. With a for sale sign sticking out of the pile of rubble in front of his building, Mundy hopes this storm doesn't tear down his dreams to stay put in North Nashville.

"I want to be here, I love North Nashville, I love this community, we’ve given so much to the community over the past 12 years," said Mundy, "North Nashville has been the last piece of not being so gentrified, and the area that got hit is the area that everybody wants."

Mundy says he is talking to the building owner in hopes of buying the property. However, last month he told us the asking price was too much.

"We have to preserve the history the soul of what this place used to be. "

But from black businesses to black homeowners, people tell us there is a pressure for them to relocate and the demand is higher after the storm.

"Vultures, developers who are looking to profit off this are not welcomed here," said Charlane Oliver, CEO of Equity Alliance.

Equity Alliance, Stand Up Nashville and other local community advocates have rallied together behind a campaign, "Don't Sell Out North" to keep North Nashville as it was before the storm.

"This is the last stronghold that we have to where black residents can call home," said Oliver, "We’ve seen it happen in East Nashville, we’ve seen it happened out in Salemtown and Germantown area, and the gentrification keeps making its way over."

Homeowners attended Lee Chapel AME Church Monday night to hear ways they can stay in their homes and community. They heard tips from FEMA, The Small Business Association, real estate and insurance professionals, attorney and much more.