In a triumphant victory, a group of over 30 African American families in Collierville, Tennessee, celebrated the historic multi-million dollar sale of their 48-acre family-owned land. After a 23-year battle for a fair price and resisting eminent domain, the farmers’ patience and perseverance paid off.
A Historic Deal
The land, located on Bailey Station Road, had been in the families for over 100 years. For the past 23 years, the farmers fought for a fair price, even battling eminent domain to prevent the land from being seized by the government. Thomas Brown, head of the farmers’ group, revealed they were once offered up to $2 per square foot even though the land was worth up to $10 per square foot.
The Patience that Paid Off
Ultimately, their patience and determination paid off. The land has now been officially sold to Orgill Inc., a hardware distributor. Orgill plans to build a $77.2 million Customer Concept Center just a few miles away from their headquarters. Several individual family members became millionaires because of the deal.
Overcoming Eminent Domain
In 2000, the Black farm owners faced an eminent domain ruling, which allows governments to seize private property without the owner’s consent. The town planned to turn the farmers’ lands into a school. Attorney Vanecia Belser Kimbrow, who has represented the association since its inception 23 years ago, stepped in to help the farmers form the Bailey Station Association II, led by Thomas Brown.
A Celebration of Victory
The historic land sale was celebrated with a press conference attended by nearly 50 town residents, Mayor Stan Joyner, and local leaders. Attorney Kimbrow encouraged the new millionaires to take their blessings and make them grow.