Baseball spurs million-plus rally in old Germantown

Friday, November 27, 2020, Vol. 44, No. 48

In 2013, when Mayor Karl Dean announced plans to build the Nashville Sounds a new ballpark, it surprised many when he proposed the new facility to be constructed at the site of Sulphur Dell, the old Nashville Vols park, in Germantown.

The ballpark – he bristled if anyone referred to it as stadium – would help in the redevelopment of the neighborhood that had been better known for its industrial warehouses, although a few visionaries had seen the potential for development in the area.

An ardent fan of the game of baseball, Dean is a purist and wanted a ballpark designed specifically for the game, and he got it. For Germantown, the announcement was like winning the World Series.

Beginning in the late 1980s, Nancy Hardaway began restoring historic homes in the area. She was successful in reworking scores of homes and in the early 2000s and was followed by Germantown Partners, a partnership consisting of Andree LeQuire and Scott Chambers, which began to develop properties in the area on a large scale, pouring millions of dollars into the forgotten area.

LeQuire is the wife of Alan LeQuire, the creator of “Musica,” the sculpture dancing on the Roundabout near Music Row. When the work was unveiled, the nudity of the figures caused quite a stir. It even inspired a song, “Hillbilly Porn,” composed by Lee Thomas Miller with lyrics that go something like this here:

“At the birthplace of song on beloved Music Row

“There’s a picturesque place where a statue should go

“It could be Harlan Howard or the great Bill Monroe

“Why they chose naked giants, we’d all like to know”

The world-renowned, critically acclaimed and beloved work is now often decorated in support of the local sports teams and other events around town, as this art rivals LeQuire’s Athena sculpture in Centennial Park’s Parthenon.

All the while, Andree LeQuire was restoring neighborhoods and doing everything in her power to protect the planet. In the midst of the Musica controversy – and fighting her own environmental and developmental battles – the LeQuires had a baby.

One of their friends had a – dare I say it – fake newspaper headline created that read: “LeQuires Give Birth to Nude Baby”

Shortly thereafter, she breathed life into a dying neighborhood. Today, many are reaping bounty form the seeds people like Nancy Hardaway, Scott Chambers and LeQuire sowed.

In July, 1228 Sixth Avenue North, a four-bedroom, 3,687-square-foot historic home sold for $1.225 million. Built in 1877, the home has three full bathrooms, 12-foot ceilings and five fireplaces.

The property was listed by native Nashvillian Lisa Gaston, a Realtor with Parks who had fallen in love with the area and was in the midst of restoring her “forever home” only a block away.

Fran Wolfe, the buyer’s agent on the Sixth Avenue sale, is a former schoolteacher at Julia Green, where she was known as “Ms. Smith, second grade teacher extraordinaire,” says Shannon Albee, her associate. Through the years, teachers have become successful Realtors, and Wolfe is another good example.

Gaston, having learned a thing or two about Germantown with her historically significant Sixth Avenue sale and her own renovation, hit her database from A to Z and rustled up a buyer who paid $1.95 million for a property at 1310 Seventh Avenue North.

Gaston described that house as “an incomparable sanctuary with a unique blend of industrial concepts, history and sophisticated modern architecture.”

The residence includes an in-ground pool and a 544-square-foot guest house, as well as the main dwelling with four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and one half-bath. At 3,605 square feet, it sold for $541 per square foot.

In addition to these two historic homes hitting the $1 million mark, there are a couple of contemporary designs that have hit the “luxury market” mark in Germantown and are awaiting buyers.

While the anchor restaurant for most of the redevelopment, the Mad Platter, has gone, the growth has beckoned a number of Nashville’s best dining spots into the streets named for presidents such as Jefferson, Taylor, Monroe, Van Buren and Madison.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with Fridrich and Clark Realty and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.