On The Rise: Franklin Keeps Identity Amidst Population Growth

Posted: 4:45 PM, Nov 14, 2017
Updated: 2018-12-19 16:33:46Z

From battlefields to businesses, Franklin has been tasked with preserving history while embracing population and job growth that tops the country.

"Our county, for five quarters in a row, out of 3,000 counties in America, has been #1 for job growth," Franklin Mayor Ken Moore said of Williamson County. 

While new businesses are popping up and road construction is underway to help handle the population growth, it's the identity of the people who live in Franklin that make it so appealing to others. 

"There's something really special about this place," Matt Largen, president and CEO of Williamson Inc., said. "You can talk about buildings all day long, you can talk about developments, you can talk about neighborhoods, but it's the people of Williamson County and Franklin that really make this place special." 

Everyone from Country Music stars and Major Generals to small business owners and people who have lived in Franklin for generations make Franklin the town it is today, and make it a place people want to visit. 

There are shops, restaurants, and sites that both locals and visitors alike enjoy on a daily basis. 

"The tourism dollars are an important thing to us, it saves each household about $500 a year (in taxes)," Moore said. 

In addition to the shops and restaurants, one of the main drivers of that tourism is the history of Franklin, specifically, the pivotal Battle of Franklin during the Civil War. 

It's a part of history officials are constantly working to protect.

"No county in Tennessee has more land in land trusts than Williamson County," Largen explained. "You've seen great historic downtowns like Leiper's Fork and downtown Franklin that have been preserved and celebrated." 

With growth comes struggles: traffic, housing affordability, increasing student population. Yet, the city is planning ahead to try and accommodate all that could come it's way. 

"I think the sky is the limit for Franklin. We've got to grow in a strategic way though and be really thoughtful about that new growth and how it affects and impacts traffic," Largen said. 

As of 2017, 60 percent of Franklin's population was not from Tennessee originally, and the population of Franklin was expected to double by the year 2040.