2015 Business Year in Review: FUMC property, Berry Farms strike largest business deals

2015 Business Year in Review: FUMC property, Berry Farms strike largest business deals

From Berry Farms to downtown, here’s the biggest business stories that came out of Franklin in 2015.

From Berry Farms to downtown, here are the biggest business stories that came out of Franklin in 2015:

Trattoria on Main

Starting an entirely different business venture, Matthew Antonovich decided to do it all himself from laundering to the table linens to making the pasta.

Antonovich’s kitchen sits in the back of a small house at 1210 West Main St., away from the hustle of downtown Franklin. And he likes it that way.

The only indication that the structure involves more than a regular home life is a sign out front spelling out the word “Trattoria,” which means an Italian serving simple food.

The new space opened its doors on Black Friday for dinner only, and though it’s size remains compact, Antonovich said that’s the way he meant for his dining experience. Only 27 people can sit down to eat at one time, and everything served is prepared by Antonovich.

“This is a special place,” he said. “Everything is handmade. I only make enough food for the night. I have a reasonable menu that changes seasonally. I could change it today or it could last a week.”

White’s Mercantile second location

With the exit of Lulu’s from the storefront circuit in downtown Franklin, Holly Williams brought her 12 South flavor from Nashville to fill the gap with White’s Mercantile.

The unexpected suggestion for Williams to make the leap came from “American Pickers” Mike Wolfe, who owns the building at 345 Main Street. Since a teenager drove his car through the window in the spring, the building has had to undergo changes to restructure the destroyed front.

White’s is a general store for the modern-day tastemaker that launched last spring. Williams said she has spent years curating these items from her favorite items she found while on tour, and wanted to share what she found a long the way with those willing to buy.

“It’s totally insane and the art of delegating is a constant learning curve,” she said. “The day in and day out of running businesses with a music career that I love and am passionate about is hard work, but every single thing I do I am really passionate about so I am incredibly lucky from that standpoint. Not many people get to wake up in the morning and work on something they love all day.”

Berry Farms becoming the hub for South Franklin

During the past year, more than a half dozen or so businesses and corporations decided to make the leap to the newer community, some leaving the compact environment of Cool Springs behind.

Right now, the Tennessee Baptist Convention and Lee Company have signed contracts to construct new office space on the property with Boyle Investment Company. Dave Ramsey and his financial empire have also jumped on board after tax breaks from the county and city governments were approved in early October for the Lampo Group.

On the retail side, Publix, Tito’s Mexican, Berry Farms Wine & Spirits, Twice Daily First Farmers Bank, Hampton Inn & Suites soon will reside within the anticipated 1.8 million square footage estimated for the development.

Berry Farms Chiropractic, Umi Japanese, Berry Farms Family Dentistry, Maui Wowi, Nail Parlor, Happy Tales Humane, Fantastic Sams, Goddard School, Franklin Synergy Bank, Farm Bureau already are open for business in the community.

More recently, First Farmers and Merchants Bank announced in December they would have new branch locations there.

While the retail and office space have grown exponentially, the residential component has expanded a different rate. Berry Farms has a total projection of 1,100 residential units.

Right now, 120 families live in the Berry Farms community with 40 homes under construction, from single-family structures to town homes. One building that will contain 27 town homes will begin construction soon.

Local restaurant giant expands brand to Westhaven

A. Marshall Family Foods Inc., announced a new gastropub concept in the Franklin community of Westhaven dubbed “Haven & Ale.”

While the A. Marshall team had been discussing names and concepts for the restaurant leading up to its announcement, the Haven & Ale name itself came via ideas from the West Franklin community.

Haven & Ale will be located in Southern Land’s Westhaven development (158 Front Street, Suite 120), just off Highway 96, and leaders are working toward an opening in the first half of 2016. The 2,500-square-foot first floor will include a bar and grill, with a 1,250-square-foot patio anchoring the front of the restaurant.

The new restaurant will have a casual gastropub feel that provides a well-rounded menu and sought-after gathering spot for the many neighborhoods in the vicinity.

First United Methodist move changes historic downtown district

Franklin United Methodist Church opened Dec. 6 in its new location off Mack Hatcher Parkway and Franklin Road.

Stepping inside, members can find a lot of open light with woodwork touches designed to make the new space feel connected to its roots in downtown Franklin.

Generations Church filled the void as the new church along with the Generations Learning Center.

“We are calling it a reset,” lead pastor Kraig Wall said. “We’ve been without this ability for years, but it was just part of the journey of our church. It works in having a church in downtown that’s still vital. But altogether, we just want to be able to share the message of Christ and encourage people.”

The 906 Studio Architects, a boutique architecture firm known for historic preservation and sensitive infill projects, also selected the 1835 Kenneday House at Historic Fifth Square for its new location.

Among 906 Studio’s notable projects currently in progress are the Harpeth Square hotel and multi-use development planned for Main Street in downtown Franklin, Southall Farm on Carter’s Creek Pike, Spring Hill’s Town Square, Roderick’s Place in Thompson’s Station and a number of single-family restorations and infill projects.

This is the second major tenant for the newly branded Historic Fifth Square. Steve Bacon of Historic 5th Square, LLC, said the new use for the Methodist Church property has attracted significant interest since its announcement.

Emily West covers Franklin for Home Page Media Group. Contact her at emily@franklinhomepage.com. Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22.

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