Greedy Developers Try to Bully 94-Year-Old Black Woman Out of Her Property in Nashville

Evelyn Suggs
Evelyn Suggs
Screenshot: Fox News 17 Video

We are seeing it more and more in cities across the country: Greedy developers infringing on the lives of black and brown people who have lived in neighborhoods for decades, attempting to push them out in order to raise housing costs and make a profit.

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In Nashville, Tenn., one determined 94-year-old black woman has said she will fight back against developers who are using bullying tactics to buy her properties from her. Evelyn Suggs told Fox 17 News “I’m not selling nothing!”

Suggs owns several properties in and around Nashville—properties that are highly sought after. As Fox 17 explains:

Property has become so precious in Nashville, some accuse aggressive developers of forcing long time property owners out.

There are at least 187 projects planned in the next couple of years according to the Nashville Business Journal, but they aren’t taking place on this 94 year old land owner’s property. She says “I’m not selling nothing!”

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Suggs was in court this week after a developer reported her for code violations—a tactic that is being used by developers who can’t get property owners to sell to them, explained the assistant pastor at Lee Chapel AME, where Suggs worships.

Yvette Tisdale told Fox 17 “They continuously harassing her about the sale of the properties on Jefferson street. She owns five on Jefferson Street and several other properties all around Nashville. They’re using dirty tactics by reporting her to codes for grass, for a car, for a mailbox, anything they can think of.”

Attorney Grover Collins echoed that, saying “If they don’t have the price a developer is wanting to pay, maybe a code violation shows up. Code violations are available for anyone to report.”

According to Fox 17, the problem has gotten so out of control, landowners filed a lawsuit against the city this month to bring an end to the Environmental Court, which developers are misusing to harass landowners. The news station reports that landowners who have received code-violation letters have gotten one a week later from developers telling them that they are aware of the code violations on the property and are willing to purchase it.

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Dirty business, indeed.

Suggs told Fox 17 that she isn’t afraid of the developers or their tactics, and she plans to continue to stand her ground.

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Good for her.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

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DISCUSSION

I know exactly what she’s going through.

From 2016 to 2013, Me, my family and neighbors and several of my fellow landowners have been battling developers who are hell-bent on acquiring land to extend Interstate 85 from Montgomery to the Alabama/Mississippi state lane, just to develop an interstate four-lane for Hyundai’s Montgomery plant. These jokers and their attorneys have done everything-including persuading a senile aunt of mine to attempt to force a sale of family-owned properties to settle claims of taxes she paid on her own without reimbursement from the family; only to discover that records my late mother and her cousin kept revealed that the aunt never paid a single dime for property taxes, and she was the one who owed. (She suddenly remembered not paying anything and stopped communicating with the family out of shame, her daughter apologized for the trouble and sued the attorneys who took advantage of her, and her attorneys - who actually worked for the developers - tried in vain to get us to sell out. The family said no.)

Since then I uncovered two more attempts to run interstate roads through my area (north-south from Mobile to Muscle Shoals, and a proposed Interstate 14 from Baton Rouge to Montgomery), and have called their hands on it. I’m now a target of several state, federal and local government entities because I’m a firm believer in landowners’ and homeowners’ rights, and I openly oppose any politician, regardless of party affiliation, who chooses corporate and big money interests over individual property rights.