Many of the new buildings in the development will be 12 stories tall. / Image courtesy of City of Franklin
By MATT BLOIS
A Franklin developer is planning to build several new hotels, more office space and hundreds of homes near the Ovation development in Cool Springs.
The project is located on the corner of Carothers Parkway and McEwen Drive, across the street from Ovation. SouthStar, one of the developers of Ovation, is behind the new project.
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 land is currently zoned General Commercial, which doesn’t allow any residential uses. SouthStar, along with Chartwell Hospitality, will ask the city to change the zoning to a type of mixed use zoning that does allow residential uses.
The Franklin Planning Commission plans to vote on a plan to change the zoning of the property at a meeting on February 28.
The plan submitted by the developers shows 750,000 square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 700 hotel rooms and 480 multifamily residential units.
The buildings will range from one to 12 stories. The plans state that 12 story buildings could have rooftop amenities such as bars, swimming pools, observation decks, activities centers or live entertainment venues.
The developer is asking the city for a number of exceptions to the city’s zoning ordinance to accommodate the project’s urban design. According to plans, the developer is asking for flexibility on building materials, roof forms and parking requirements.
According to a traffic study for the development, the project could generate as many as 23,000 car trips each day by 2024. The study recommends installing several improvements such as new turn lanes to reduce traffic.
The plans show two entrances on the east side of the development from Carothers Parkway. They also show one entrance on the north side of the development connecting to Tower Circle, which serves the Franklin Park office development.
The traffic study also recommended following through with a 2013 traffic study of the area around the development. That study suggested building more lanes, creating a park and ride and adding bus routes.
In the plans, the developer writes that the new mixed use development is consistent with Franklin’s long term plan, which is laid out in a document called Envision Franklin. That plan includes a land use called regional commercial, which is intended to have high-intensity activity centers that attract large numbers of people and employers.