Commercial developments that are changing the face of Cool Springs


Commercial developments that are changing the face of Cool Springs

By MATT BLOIS

Franklin developer SouthStar’s plan to build hundreds of homes and thousands of square feet of office space on the Cool Springs Property located at the southwest corner of McEwen Drive and Carothers Parkway is just the latest in a series of large, mixed-use developments in the area.

With several developers, changes in ownership and multiple phases of construction it can be hard to keep track of the construction in Cool Springs.

Here’s an update on the current or upcoming construction projects in that area.

1. Franklin Park

Owner:Franklin Park Acquisition Co, LLC, One Franklin Park Acquisition CO, LLC, Two Franklin Park Acquisition Co, LLC

Developer: Hall Emery

Completion Date: June 2020 for building three.

The Franklin Planning Commission approved plans for the third building in Franklin Park in April 2018. It will have 330,000 square feet of office space and a seven story parking garage.

The development already has two large office buildings with more than half a million square feet of office space between them. The property is located at the northeast corner of the intersection between McEwen Drive and Interstate 65.

Thousands of employees are already working in those buildings. Some of the major tenants are Franklin American Mortgage, HCA and Schneider Electric. Developers also plan to build a 13-acre park and an outdoor amphitheater.

The developer for the project is Hall Emery, a company formed by Pat Emery and Spectrum properties. 

In an interview with the Home Page in May, Hall Emery president David Wells said the third building should be open by June 2020.

“One and Two [Franklin Park] have been wildly successful in terms of attracting top-tier tenants to the buildings,” Wells said in May. “We’re still talking to a lot of different companies that want to be in [Three Franklin Park.]”

The development will eventually include five total office buildings.

2. Bigby

Owner: Crescent Communities LLC

Developer: Crescent Communities

A rezoning request for this project with 350,000 square feet of office and retail space was approved by the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen in March 2018.

According to county records, Crescent Communities II LLC, bought about 24 acres of property for $4.6 million in June 2018. The company’s website says the project will be called Bigby, named after the limestone rocks on which it will be built.

The project includes tall office buildings, a hotel, apartments, townhomes and retail space. According to the company’s website, Crescent has developed more than 2 million square feet in the Cool Springs area.

Plans for Bigby also show a park with two dog parks and an extensive trail system located at the corner of McEwen Drive and Carothers Parkway.

4. Aureum

Owner: SouthStar and Chartwell Hospitality

Developer: SouthStar

Renderings of the newly proposed Aureum project. / Images from City of Franklin

Aureum is the most recent proposed development in the Cool Springs Area. Franklin developer SouthStar plans to build hundreds of homes, 750,000 square feet of office space and several hotels.

The site, on the east side of Huffine’s Ridge, was originally purchased by Vanderbilt University Medical Center to be used as a consolidated healthcare campus, but they dropped that plan and put the land up for sale again.

The property is located at the southwest corner of McEwen Drive and Carothers Parkway. The Franklin Planning Commission will review plans for the development in February.

5. Franklin Summit

Owner: SS McEwen 65, LLC

The wooded hill at the southeast corner of McEwen Drive and I-65 isn’t being developed yet, but there is a for sale sign on the property.

SouthStar is the broker for the land. The company put together a partnership that bought the land, but SouthStar isn’t part of the partnership. According to county records SS McEwen 65, LLC bought the 15 parcel in 2013 for $8.25 million.

Originally developers planned to build 1 million square feet of office space and 250 hotel rooms. However, SouthStar CEO Glenn Wilson wrote in an email that the land is now for sale.

The company requested a rezoning for the property that would have allowed taller buildings, but never finished the process. 

6 .Ovation

Owner: Thomas Ovation, LLC and Highwoods Properties

Developer: Thomas Ovation, LLC and Highwoods Properties

Completion Date: May 2019 for Mars Petcare Headquarters.

The sprawling Ovation project is one of the largest commercial developments in the area. The project received approval in September 2014, but progress has been slow since then.

The property has two owners and developers, Highwoods Properties and Thomas Land & Development. Highwoods Properties is building the office portion and Thomas Land & Development was responsible for the residential and retail portions.

Highwoods Properties expects to finish work on a new headquarters for Mars Petcare by May 2019. Mars Petcare employees will likely start working in the building in May and June.

Thomas Land & Development has had less success. The company that owns land in Ovation filed for bankruptcy in October. This is the second time the company has filed for bankruptcy since taking over the Ovation project.

According to court documents, the owner of Thomas Land & Development agreed to pay back loans to creditors by June 1 to avoid foreclosure on the property.

Highwoods originally partnered with SouthStar to develop the property, but SouthStar later sold the land to Thomas Land & Development.

7. Carothers Crossing East

Owner: SS McEwen 65, LLC

Developer: SouthStar

The first section of this shopping center, anchored by the Lifetime Athletics building, has already been constructed. The land is being developed by SouthStar.

The Lifetime Athletics building alone occupies 120,000 square feet. But the development will eventually have 43,500 square feet of office space, 22,000 square feet of retail space and a storage facility.

8. Carothers Crossing West

Owner: Porter Family LP

According to county records, the undeveloped property at the northwest corner of Liberty Pike and Carothers Parkway is owned by Porter Family LP.

Plans submitted to the city of Franklin show that a developer from San Antonio, Texas is planning to build a shopping center with 34,000 square feet of retail space and 24,000 square feet of office space.

The plans also show more than 300 apartment buildings and a bank.

In an email, SouthStar CEO Glenn Wilson wrote that the company is the broker and development consultant on the project. SouthStar is also handling the marketing.

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