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VOL. 37 | NO. 2 | Friday, January 11, 2013

Franklin Park ups ante with size, features

By Bill Lewis

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Franklin Park will feature more than 1.25 million square feet of office space in five buildings, as well as a 600-seat amphitheater, waterways, ponds, walking paths and open fields on 71 acres.

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The Nashville region’s largest office development is under way in Cool Springs, where Spectrum-Emery has begun the first phase of Franklin Park, a 71-acre, mixed-use corporate campus with more than 1.25 million square feet of space in five, 10-story office buildings.

The project kicked off with work on an 11-acre park, which will be the development’s central feature. It will have an amphitheater large enough for 600 people, waterways, ponds, walking paths and open fields. The first 270,000-square foot building should be finished early next year.

Like Nissan’s nearby headquarters, the buildings will have all-glass facades, not the glass and concrete exteriors of most Cool Springs buildings.

“It really goes to the next level,” says Pat Emery, president of Spectrum-Emery.

Berry Farms, under construction at Lewisburg Pike and Peytonsville Road, is a mixed-use development with plans for 70,000 square feet of office space and 53 homes.

-- Lyle Graves | Nashville Ledger

The buildings will be situated to maximize views of the park and the surrounding hills. Multi-level garages will eliminate the need for large surface parking lots and preserve open space.

Franklin Park’s green features include a system to send water to a central pond where it will be used for irrigation. All plants used in landscaping will be native to the area. During development, rocks on the site will be ground up for use in construction.

A demand for space

Also in Cool Springs, Boyle Investment Co. has leased 100,000 square feet of space in its new 5000 Meridian building. The building has a total of 177,000 square feet.

The company saw a growing demand for new space, says spokeswoman Shelby Larkin.

“We took a risk building it without any main tenants,” she says. “Cool Springs really needed it. There weren’t any large blocks of space.”

The company also is leasing another new building, the 14,000-square-foot 5005 Meridian building. The interior is designed in an urban-loft style, with stained concrete floors and exposed ceilings, which is unusual in buttoned-down Cool Springs.

The design “has an edge to it,” Larkin says.

Huge developments everywhere

On the south side of Franklin along I-65, Boyle has begun the first phase of Berry Farms, a mixed-use development that eventually will encompass more than 600 acres. Phase one includes 11 commercial lots with 70,000 square feet of retail space and 53 residential lots.

Four builders – Regent Homes, Celebration Homes, Ford Custom Classic and Greg & Raines – are building homes in the development.

“We’ve been talking with several people about outparcel sites – restaurants, gas stations, everything residents need,” Larkin says.

Boyle is also redeveloping Brentwood’s Synergy Business Park, which has eight buildings totaling 500,000 square feet on Franklin Road.

H.G. Hill Realty Company and GBT Realty Corporation are pursuing development of The Streets of Brentwood, a mixed-use, town center development totaling 970,212 square feet of residential, office, retail and restaurant space, a theater and a hotel. The site previously was occupied by Murray Ohio and the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

Mars Petcare, Shelter Insurance and more

On the southern edge of Williamson County, Mars Petcare is building an $87.9 million innovation center in the small village of Thompson’s Station.

Meanwhile, Shelter Insurance is investing up to $5 million to build a 30,000-square-foot headquarters facility inside the Tollgate Village master planned community, says Dan Kingsbury, the project manager and principal broker for Dock Street Communities. The company is developing Tollgate Village.

Tractor Supply Co., retailer of farm and ranch supplies, is building a 260,000-square-foot LEED-certified headquarters on Virginia Way in Brentwood. It is one block from the company’s existing offices. The company expects to move in next year.

Other developments in Williamson County include Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s investment of up to $200 million for a medical complex in Cool Springs and Columbia State Community College’s new $6.5 million campus in Cool Springs.