By BROOKE WANSER
Grading has begun on a project at the northeast corner of Franklin Road and Mack Hatcher Parkway, though signs advertising the project have yet to appear.
The development, located at 145 Legends Club Lane, will be a residential apartment community, confirmed Brad Knolle, the senior vice president of Embrey Contractors, LLC.
Embrey is the developer of the community, called the Retreat at Iron Horse. The company also built the nearby Artessa apartment complex in Franklin, which Knolle said was a very successful project.
The 20-acre property has a history; it was once considered as the site for a new proton therapy center, which is now getting ready to open across the road from Williamson Medical Center.
Cal Turner Jr., the former chairman and chief executive officer of Dollar General, sold the land to Embrey earlier this year.
Knolle said he believed the site would struggle as retail, so Embrey worked with the city to have it rezoned as residential.
After leasing the Artessa, Knolle said the company conducted their own study of residents.
“We determined that something like over 60 percent of our residents that worked were employed in the city of Franklin,” he said, noting the need for more affordable housing.
Knolle said the 270 units of various sizes will rent between $1,400 and $2,100; each, he said, will be unique and not “cookie-cutter.”
Embrey contractors are currently grading the site right now, and will begin pouring concrete next week. Knolle said Embrey hopes to have units ready by September.
During a recent public panel, Franklin Mayor Ken Moore responded to a question about the property, stating that a traffic study had been completed for the area and that the developer would be adding a new traffic lane and signals.
Knolle concurred, noting the traffic study was on Franklin Road from Mallory Station Road to Mack Hatcher Parkway.
The contractor will add two turn lanes going each way off of Franklin Road, Knolle said, and a dedicated turn lane and traffic signal at Mallory Station Road.
Through cooperation with Vanderbilt Legends Club and the First Presbyterian Church, just to the north of the development, Knolle said the project has gone smoothly.