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Developers unveil Cool Springs future
 




Ovation of Cool Springs, unveiled this week at the Franklin Theatre, is set to be the state’s largest mixed-use development.



“Life Reimagined” lit the marquis of the Downtown Franklin Theatre this week.

The show wasn’t an off-Broadway play or sold-out musical performance.

Rather, the feature du jour was a glimpse into the future—the future of Cool Springs, and ultimately, Williamson County.
A fly-thru video awaits visitors at www.ovationcoolsprings.com.

Highwood Properties, of Raleigh, N.C. and SouthStar, LLC presented plans Tuesday for a $700-million mixed-use development on what is the last large undeveloped parcel of land in Franklin’s commercial corridor.

Franklin-based Bristol Development has been selected to guide the residential strategy.

Earlier this week, guests from all facets of the community viewed a multi-dimensional big screen production.

The opening black and white frame shows a still photo of a weathered barn, a respectful signal to the past and the Pickering family farm that joined so many others along Interstate 65 for decades.

It’s now time for the larger community to get a peek at the Ovation vision, said Highwoods Properties CEO Ed Fritsch, who has been at the helm of this publicly traded company for 17 years.

This is an unprecedented development for the region, he told media this week.

“It is an urban development in a suburban environment and we are so happy to be in Franklin.”

The planning approval process began in June with a request for a height variance to allow for a 12-story structure.
Ovation will include 1.4 million square feet of Class A office space built to LEED specifications.

“Having another option for Class A office space that is coming in from out-of-town is great not just for the developer, but for Williamson County and the entire Nashville region,” said Matt Largen, President and CEO Williamson County Chamber of Commerce.

A 300-bed, full-service hotel will compliment the 350,000 square feet of upscale retail stores and restaurants set in an outdoor environment.

Largen estimates that at full build out more than 5,000-6,000 jobs will be central to the economic engine of this highly connected community.

“Our main entrance on Carothers Parkway will include safe pedestrian access for people walking over from the neighboring Vanderbilt Medical Campus,” said Glenn Wilson, CEO of SouthStar LLC, a Franklin-based commercial real estate development company.

And finally, a unique blend of residential living, including both for sale and luxury rental homes will be included.
They are situated on property near Turning Wheel Lane, which borders Franklin’s Liberty Baseball Complex and part of McKay’s Mill.

A thick treed natural area buffers the eastern edge and will separate the two areas.

The hallmark of this project, Fritsch explains is how it will embrace the desire for connectivity among people.

“It’s very important to us that we have a transit ready community,” Fritsch said. For this reason, the Ovation team has already begun dialogue with the Transportation Management Association Group.

“We are very sensitive to what the next generation wants,” Fritsch said Tuesday.

What may be a dramatic departure for locals, however, is the more modern design of the architecture.

There is a clear campus setting proposed that could easily welcome possible future mass transit opportunities.

What this truly means will be discussed for months to come. Franklin Planning and Sustainability will be reviewing plans.
And the city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be weighing in as well.

What is certain is that Cool Springs will have a very different landscape in the next five years, but one Fritsch believes will compliment the rolling hills that are this community’s signature topographical clement.

“It has to be a sophisticated blend of historical preservation, environmental preservation and economic growth,” Fritsch explained.

If all goes on schedule, he said he believes storm water installation, mass grading, spine roads and utilities will be underway. He expects the first glimpses of finished product in 2016.

“Ovation will be the most comprehensive mixed use development in the state. It is the solution that relocating companies are seeking,” noted Glenn McGehee, Principle and President of SouthStar.

 

Posted on: 8/22/2013

 
 

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