Developer Proposes Boutique Hotel For Downtown Franklin - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Developer Proposes Boutique Hotel For Downtown Franklin

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by Chris Cannon

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - A developer has announced plans to build a mixed-use project in downtown Franklin that will include a boutique hotel, condominiums and retail space.

Rod Heller and Jay Franks have proposed the $85 million project and want to build it on the corner of Second Avenue and Main Street in downtown Franklin.

"Our interest is strictly derived from the vision we have for Franklin," said developer Rod Heller.

The group owns parcels of land behind Cadence Bank that they hope to turn into a boutique hotel, retail space and high-end condominiums.

Heller said the project would be at the four-star level.

"(The project) would contain nearly 120 boutique hotel rooms, with a ballroom and other facilities," he explained.

Heller's group also had plans for the abandoned former Tennessean building on Second Avenue.

"Which we envision turning into a high-end grocery and delicatessen, similar to The Turnip Truck in the Gulch, and other areas of Nashville," Heller said.

Heller and his partner have hired Senate Hospitality Group to oversee and build the development.

Many business owners in that part of Franklin look forward to the possibility of the hotel project becoming a reality.

"This particular street in Franklin isn't nearly as developed as 3rd and 4th Avenue," said John Mays, owner of Centricity Music.

He said the hotel and residential complex would bring a lot of foot traffic to that area of the city.

Lynda McGuire's family has owned Riverside Antiques for that last 19 years. Customers stop by her store and often ask her the same question.

"On a daily basis we get customers in asking where they can stay in downtown Franklin, and there is no where to stay right now," McGuire said.

She hopes the project becomes a reality, because she feels it will benefit the downtown area.

"I think it'll be a huge addition to the downtown Franklin area, to have somewhere for those customers to and enjoy the retail, restaurants, and all the great festivals and events that Franklin has to offer," McGuire explained.

Developers will present their plans to the Franklin Board of Mayor and Alderman on December 19th. Heller expects the approval process to take up to ten months. If all goes according to plan, he hopes to break ground on the project during the fall of 2014.

email: ccannon@newschannel5.com

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