Zoning for $700M mixed-use development up for vote in Williamson Co.

Zoning for $700M mixed-use development up for vote in Williamson Co. (Image 1)

The future of a 700 million dollar “smart growth living experience” in Williamson County is a few steps from becoming a standing ovation.

The 147-acre mixed-use development called “Ovation” would sit at the very busy corner of McEwen Drive and Carothers Parkway on the other side of Cool Springs Galleria in Franklin, just across the street from Nissan’s corporate headquarters.

The property was purchased by SouthStar LLC for $50 million in December 2012.

Rising in the heart of Williamson Country’s central business district, the proposed lifestyle project promises to combine all aspects of living, working, entertainment and recreation with 950 residences, retail, dining, bike paths, hiking trails and even a full-service upscale hotel.

Each time Franklin resident Denny Griswold jogs by the vast grassy field where the interconnected community would be developed, he knows the future of blending the lines between live, work and play is almost a reality.

“Evidently the market dictates there is a need,” said Griswold.

The 1.4 million square-foot development would also have direct access off Interstate 65.

Franklin city officials said the demand for more retail space in Cool Springs is partly linked to the growth Williamson County through the years and the office market along the I-65 corridor.

“We’re actually one of the 15 fastest growing cities in the country for a population of over 5,000 and so this is responding to that need of a growing community,” said Eric Stuckey, City Administrator for Franklin

Many city officials and even Franklin residents like Griswold are excited about the venture especially since developers said Ovation will generate $12.6 million a year in tax revenue benefit for the county and create upwards of 6,500 new jobs.

“It’s a good sound investment,” said Groswold.

Franklin aldermen are scheduled to take their second of three votes on the project zoning Tuesday night at a public hearing.

If “Ovation” clears the board, the developer said crews could start moving dirt next month.

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