PHOTO: Sisters Shawnell (in purple) and Janell Goodlow lead the ribbon cutting for the new Bungalow Court in the Hard Bargain neighborhood. The Goodlows purchased the final home in the five-home development. // Photos by John McBryde
By JOHN McBRYDE
Partner after partner were named Saturday morning as the Hard Bargain Association held a ribbon cutting to showcase its latest and largest development in the historic African American neighborhood.
Five new homes were unveiled in a “pocket neighborhood” on Mt. Hope Street that has been named Bungalow Court, and HBA Executive Director Brant Bousquet took time to recognize the multitude of people, businesses and organizations that pitched in through the years to make the addition to the neighborhood possible.
“This is a day that’s been long in the making,” Bousquet said to those assembled for the ceremony. “And the most important part of this morning is to recognize all the partners that have done their share.”
He named engineers, landscapers, contractors, churches and home improvement businesses, among several others. Bousquet specifically pointed out the efforts from David Crane and Crane Builders, which not only built the five Bungalow Court homes but also the eight other similar homes that have been constructed in Hard Bargain since 2007.
The Hard Bargain Association has also had a longstanding partnership with the city of Franklin.
“It’s so important to provide housing options for citizens and to preserve neighborhoods, and this is an example of a development that is true to the neighborhood and provides some attainable housing that’s hard to deliver these days,” Franklin City Administrator Eric Stuckey said. “Yes, there is a partnership with the city, but hundreds of other people and organizations stepped up to have a piece of this and to make this happen. It’s an exciting day and this is a great example of a community working together.”
In addition to Bousquet, also speaking at the ribbon cutting were Anthony Pickett of First Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Kevin Riggs from Franklin Community Church and Denise Carothers of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee.
“This is a long time coming for Hard Bargain,” Carothers said. “I’m a Hard Bargain native, and it’s good to see homes like this. … It was truly a village, growing up in Hard Bargain, and I’m hoping to see it like that again. It’s truly a blessing to see because my father built houses in Hard Bargain. This has come full circle for me.”
While Bungalow Court is perhaps the most significant milestone in Hard Bargain — the project earned the HBA a recent Heritage Preservation award from the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County — the work continues. The nonprofit recently purchased a property at the corner of 11th and Glass streets, so construction will soon begin on the 14th new home in the neighborhood.