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Downtown Franklin pocket neighborhood breaks ground in downtown

Sarah and Ryan Torti are the first buyers – in their dream first neighborhood and first house – in Vandalia Cottages on Boyd Mill in downtown Franklin. 

Vandalia Cottages broke ground Monday July 22. (From left) Jason Goddard, land planner and development team, Ashlyn Hines, principal of Bristol Development Group, Franklin Mayor Ken Moore, At-large Alderman Ann Peterson, Berry Brooks, lender at First Farmers and Merchants Bank, and Sarah and Ryan Torti.

Young couple Ryan and Sarah Torti searched for a neighborhood that could offer a small town feel with the luxury of being within walking distance of posh restaurants and boutiques as well as community activities – depicting the slower pace of small town life, mixed with the flavor of a bigger city.

“Franklin has evolved over time from a small country town to a posh place to be similar to a Hillsboro Village feel. There’s a lot more going on now than ten years ago,” Ryan and Sarah said.

Vandalia Cottages, located at 410 Boyd Mill Avenue, just a three-block jaunt to Main Street in downtown Franklin, fit their vision as the ideal neighborhood, and they recently became the first buyers in the new “pocket community.”

“The pocket community with large front porches gives the small town feel of Franklin,” Ryan said. 

Franklin-based Bristol Development Group broke ground Monday July 22 – with the Tortis holding shovels – at the site that brings the new residential development concept to a rare, undeveloped lot in Franklin’s historic downtown core.

Tucked away on Boyd Mill, one might pass the site a few times before realizing that the lot can house 17 units centered around lush common courtyards consisting of four different cottage designs ranging from 1,240 to 1,805 square feet.

“The property used to be an old ranch house, and we had our eye on it for a long time. We thought that it could be the perfect place for a new development,” Ashlyn Hines, principal of Bristol Development Group said.

However, the groundbreaking of the property – from conception to fruition –was a long time coming for Bristol Development.

“It meets all of the historic zoning guidelines set by the city, and it took us about two years to obtain all approvals,” Hines said.

The development group talked to neighbors and redesigned plans a few times before finding common ground on the project Hines said.

“Now, they love it,” she said. “The development’s size and authentic, traditional design that stays true to the history and character of downtown appeals to the neighborhood residents.”

“We even picked out antique front doors ourselves and had them refinished. Each is unique.”

To decrease additional traffic on the quiet neighborhood street, parking is located at the rear of the development, only accessible from Highway 96. A pedestrian walkway will be constructed on the Boyd Mill side of the development for walking access only.

Bristol partnered with Nashville-based DA|AD, architecture firm to create the pocket neighborhood concept to create a close-knit community feel, accented by broad front porches, antique newel posts and gas lanterns.

According Bristol, the pocket neighborhood concept is designed to address density, privacy and community in a way that encourages greater interaction among neighbors and a more social lifestyle with little yard maintenance at a competitive price for the area.

Amenities will include chef-grade appliances, granite, marble and hardwoods throughout, tiled baths, individually selected lighting, and manicured gardens.

Prices range from $300,000s to low $400,000s.

“Our clientele reflects younger folks with small families and empty-nesters who don’t want to maintain a lawn. But the development could appeal to anyone at any stage of life,” Bryan Jacobs, CFO at Bristol said.

“The price point offers buyers the opportunity to buy a new home with upscale amenities without having to renovate and affords them the opportunity to walk to downtown.”

The projected date of completion of the development is 2015.

For information, visit

Posted on: 7/21/2013


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