By MARK COOK
A year from now residents are expected to be living in the first few phases of a 150-unit luxury apartment development, the first guests will be enjoying the adjacent Curio Hilton Hotel, clients will be relaxing in the 5,800-square-foot A Moment’s Peace spa, and diners will be eating in a high-end restaurant on the left side of the hotel lobby, or enjoying a quick meal at the cafe on the right side.
Harpeth Square, which has been transforming an entire city block of Historic Downtown Franklin since 2012, is anticipating different phases and amenities of the $105 million development to begin opening to the public in mid-2019.
“We never expected seven years,” said Steve Bacon, one of the three partners that comprise Harpeth Associates.
Bacon, Russ Haynes and J. Roderick Heller led a “hard hat tour” of the busy construction site on Monday morning. Heller, a descendant of the McGavock family of Carnton Plantation, began the tour along First Avenue in the parking lot of Puckett’s Boat House, explaining how fees paid to the City of Franklin will transform First Avenue with sidewalks and parallel parking, and will support an eventual connection of the Franklin Riverwalk envisioned to eventually go all the way to Carnton.
“We’re a small team, just three of us,” Heller said of the partnership. “This project has been years in the making.”
In addition to the street and Riverwalk improvements, the tour started where it did to announce the spa, which will have 180-feet of First Avenue frontage. A Moment’s Peace, owned by Kip and Koren Dodson, has had a Cool Springs location for more than 15 years. Carmine Grassi is an investor in the Harpeth Square spa. A Moment’s Peace recently announced a deal to franchise the brand and its broad menu of spa and salon services.
“We’ve been in the position to seek out tenants,” Heller said.
“We basically had to be a part of it,” Kip Dodson said of Harpeth Square.
Harpeth Associates partner Russ Haynes said there would be about seven retail or office suites, depending on the eventual configuration.
The hotel was next on the tour, and Haynes led the group around the block to what eventually will be the hotel lobby entrance on Second Avenue, where workers are building balconies for the rooms that will have views across the Public Square all the way to Winstead Hill at the south end of town. The entrance will lead into the lobby toward a grand staircase. Just to the left of the lobby is a room Haynes called the library, “where you can sit down and soak in the history of Franklin.”
Next Haynes showed off the apartments, which like the hotel occupy four stories. They are surround a courtyard that eventually will have a fountain in the middle. The apartment residents will have access to room service from the hotel and will have their own clubhouse.
Heller described the apartments as “very high end,” noting that about 10 percent already have lease agreements and deposits, and two of the three penthouse apartments have been leased.
Harpeth Square will offer 61 one-bedroom units, 75 two-bedroom, and 11 three-bedroom. Rent at this time is $1,700 and up. The rent also includes a parking space for each one-bedroom unit, and two spaces for two- and three-bedroom apartments. The parking spaces will be on the same floor as the apartments, and the 591-space parking structure is completely surrounded by the hotel, apartments, or retail/office spaces.
“You won’t see the garage,” Haynes said.
Harpeth Associates owns the development, except for the hotel, which they have a 46% stake in. The rest is owned by Kemmons Wilson, the Memphis-based founders of Holiday Inn. The hotel will be managed by Euan McGlashan and Valor Hospitality, an international management company.