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Nashville's Holladay Properties purchases Factory at Franklin for $56M

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The Factory at Franklin

A rendering of The Factory at Franklin.

A buyer was announced for The Factory at Franklin Friday.

The Nashville office of Holladay Properties, led by Allen Arender, purchased the property at 230 Franklin Road in Franklin for $56 million. They plan to create a “national model for adaptive re-use of early 20th century industrial structures,” according to a news release issued Friday. That includes what developers called a “little city,” with plazas, courtyards, alleys, nooks and other places to gather and socialize. Inside, where the space will be opened up, will be a shopping, dining and entertainment experience with office space.

Built in 1929, The Factory is a complex of 10 industrial buildings that was originally constructed for stove manufacturer Allen Manufacturing Co. and was later home to a succession of manufacturers, including Dortch Stove Works, Magic Chef and Jamison Bedding Company. In 1996, Franklin businessman Calvin Lehew purchased the property and converted it into a retail and entertainment complex.

Joining Holladay Properties in the redevelopment of The Factory is Arender’s long-time development partner Ronnie Wenzler, an executive director of Cushman & Wakefield. Arender and Wenzler have considerable experience developing historic structures like The Factory, having created compelling contemporary spaces from a mattress factory, a furniture store, a blacksmith foundry, state government garages and a 1960s-era shopping center.

Allen Arender

Allen Arender

“At The Factory, we will bring together the lessons we learned from our other successful reimagining of historic structures,” Arender said. “In every case, we took time to discover the essence of the building and then created a place that made the most of this essence. This same process will guide our redevelopment of The Factory.” 

“The Factory will be a place you can work at all day and then meet your spouse and kids for dinner and a show,” Wenzler added. “And what makes it like nowhere else is that the energy of this newly reimagined little city will be just a short walk from one of the most charming small downtowns in America: Franklin, Tennessee.”

Holladay Properties has retained Nashville architecture firm Centric to help them turn The Factory’s 310,000 square feet into an energizing, inviting destination. Among Centric’s adaptive reuse projects in Nashville are the Trolley Barns and Stocking 51 office buildings.

Ronnie Wenzler

Ronnie Wenzler

Leasing of approximately 150,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space in the “new” Factory will be handled by Elliott Kyle with Equitable Property Co. and Elam Freeman of Ojas Partners. Office space will be leased by Michael Havens, Madison Wenzler and Ronnie Wenzler.

“We are about a year away from welcoming everyone to the new Factory,” Arender said. “This is a long-term project. As Middle Tennesseans, we want what is best for our community, and that means taking time to do it right. Our vision is to create the preeminent mixed-use hub for Franklin, Williamson County and southern Middle Tennessee that will draw visitors from throughout the region and the nation.”

Madison Wenzler of the Wenzler-Havens team of Cushman & Wakefield’s Nashville office represented Holladay Properties in the sale, and John Haynes of the Bradley law firm provided legal counsel.

“The Factory is a large canvas and superlative. It’s exactly the kind of building we have cut our teeth on, a former industrial campus with beautiful bones. With some thoughtful polish and a lot of energy it will be translated into attractive, highly functional contemporary space with a historic vibe that is impossible to create in new buildings,” Ronnie Wenzler said. “This project is a statement and super exciting for us.”

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