Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Owner Kenny Norman Defends His Blighted, Scandalous Market Property as a Family Legacy

One of my neighbors crossed paths with Kenny Norman (owner of the K & M Market property at 7th & Garfield and member of one of the more influential families in Middle Tennessee) at last weekend's community meeting. She gave Mr. Norman an earful about the sorry condition of his market, the loitering that occurs there on a daily basis, and other crimes on the property like the shooting of the business owner there a few weeks ago. She encouraged him either to upgrade and to have the market offer more than single-serve beer or to sell to someone else who might develop the property into something more supportive of our quality of life.

Mr. Norman blamed any crime that happens at his store on MDHA's Section 8 duplexes that sit behind and across the street from his store. I met at least one of the residents in those duplexes last summer; she was kind enough to me some vegetables out of her garden she was growing behind her unit. She told me that she had a picket fence put up around her front yard in order to discourage outsiders--who were driving into Salemtown to buy beer at the market--from loitering in her front yard afterwards. She seemed as alarmed as I was about what was going on at Mr. Norman's property.

Mr. Norman also told my neighbor on Saturday that the property has been in his family a long time and that he promised relatives that he would keep it under the family name. Keep in mind that Mr. Norman is a member of an influential family in Tennessee, including his sister Circuit Trial Judge Barbara Haynes, her husband State Senator Joe Haynes from Goodlettsville, and their son, Scott Haynes, an attorney with connections to Bob Clement. I am bound to ask at this point, why would a family want such a damnable crime-magnet of a property associated with their name if it weren't for the money? It seems to me that they could garner even more influence if they would tear down the blight and put something more beneficial to the community in its place.

In the meantime, a report crossed the Salemtown e-mail list yesterday that a man of either African or Middle Eastern descent wearing a white skull cap and driving a red hatchback attempted to solicit a young girl for sex in front of the K & M Market last Thursday before driving away. Does Mr. Norman care that child predators may be associated with the legacy of his Salemtown property?

01/01/2019 UPDATE: the property, still owned by Mr. Norman, is being gentrified 10 years later. But the old structure, which straddles 3 parcels according to Metro's property maps, has not been torn down. Instead, it has received a makeover.

The owner has rebranded the building "The Local Distro," and I found a website which says it will open January 2019 as "Market | Eats | Wine." The building is like a zombie; it won't die. If those walls could talk, though, the stories they could tell.


  1. Add former Juvenile Court Clerk to the list.

  2. maybe the neighborhood and other citizens concerned with crime and "nutrition deserts" can raise money to buy this thing and turn it into a food co-op.

    -friend from the east side