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Planning Commission, BOMA talk proposed Mapco at joint workshop

Artist's rendering of the proposed Mapco station at Gateway Village.

Representatives from Mapco presented their plans to construct a convenience store and gas station near the intersection of Franklin Road and Moores Lane to the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen at a joint workshop with the Franklin Planning Commission Thursday at City Hall.

The plan includes building a 4,770 sq. ft. convenience store/deli and a gas station canopy near the community of Gateway Village. The architecture for the store is planned to replicate the “look and feel of downtown Franklin,” said Neil Weber with Mapco.

“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to build here,” Weber said. “This is our home community. Mapco is headquartered in Brentwood. This will be our flagship store.”

Mapco drew heat from residents of Gateway Village who expressed opposition on a wide array of issues at a community meeting last week. Weber mentioned that Mapco staff is trying to “address these concerns as much as possible.”

Related story: Proposed Gateway Village Mapco draws opposition

“We feel it is convenient for the neighbors,” Weber said. “Right now, you have to walk across a major road to get to Walgreen’s. We don’t think we would want to be there if we couldn’t serve the community.”

Margaret Martin, alderman of Ward 4, said that she appreciates Mapco’s efforts to construct a building with a downtown Franklin feel, however, she expressed concerns on behalf of the Gateway Village residents:

“If the neighbors wanted this, I would vote for this but I do not see that happening,” she said.

Weber was adamant that the Mapco store will be different than what the residents have in mind:

“Convenience stores have a bad reputation. Our store will be much more upscale. Our CEO will probably get his gas there. I feel that we have a right to be there from a use standpoint,” Weber said.

After the meeting, Franklin Home Page asked a few of the residents of Gateway Village for comment.

“I think Mapco is glazing over the gas station detail and focusing on the convenience store/deli. Three delis have opened and closed in Gateway Village since I’ve been there,” resident Tammy McKinny said. “They project 800-900 people coming per day. We have children that ride the bus. We run in the morning. This will affect that.”

Resident Mark McKinney said that his concerns are from an environmental perspective:

“They are going to be putting fuel tanks inside of our neighborhood,” he said. “It’s going to impact property values absolutely. Houses in Gateway Village are now $100,000 more than what we paid two years ago. We don’t want to lose that.”

After the meeting, Weber said that he “takes the feedback very seriously.”

Weber also said that the Mapco typically employs 15-18 people for part-time work and 12 people for full-time work.

“Mapco wants people that are local,” he said.

Ultimately, it is Mapco’s decision to buy the lot.

“Everyone in the company wants to be there,” Weber said.

Michael Ackley covers the city of Franklin for Franklin Home Page. Contact him at michael@franklinhomepage.com.

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