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New Developments in Williamson County, TN

Major developments change Williamson County's landscape.

By John McBryde on July 28, 2015

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The numbers can be hard to imagine.

Office space in Franklin and Brentwood, which is already at impressive levels after years of growth, is on the cusp of increasing by more than 50 percent in extremely short order. New office and mixed-use developments are putting Tennessee’s fastest-growing county in a whole new stratosphere.

“This is the biggest wave of development since I’ve been here,” says Matt Largen, who has been president and CEO of the Williamson Inc. since 2013 and previously served for three years as director of the county’s Office of Economic Development. “Between all the large office developments that are planned, it will result in 6 million square feet of office space. Those numbers are hard to grasp.

“We have about 11 million square feet of office inventory in Brentwood and Franklin right now, so this adds another 6 million. And that’s just the office. It doesn’t include residential, retail or hotel.”

Plenty of Space

From Hill Center Brentwood northward to Berry Farms southward, work is under way on five major mixed-use developments that will transform Williamson’s landscape, impact its economy and introduce new quality-of-life amenities enjoyable for all residents.

Covering 17 acres at the former sites of Murray-Ohio and Tennessee Baptist Convention in the heart of town, Hill Center Brentwood will ultimately feature 450,000 square feet of office space and 120,000 square feet for retail. The first phase, to be completed in October 2016, will include 158,000 feet of office and 66,000 feet of retail.

The development will have several unique elements, not the least of which will be its access to the outdoors.

"The increased walkability the development offers the community is paramount," says Jimmy Granbery, CEO of Hill Center Brentwood’s developer, H.G. Hill Realty. "The wide sidewalks and additional green space with lots of plantings and trees enhance the area, and promote a more active lifestyle and, therefore, enhanced quality of life.”

New Generation of Workers

To the south are Ovation, Franklin Park and Franklin Summit, major developments that are transforming the Cool Springs area of Franklin.

Ovation, an upscale development that will be high in amenities and emphasize green space, is being developed by Highwoods Properties, Thomas Land & Development, SouthStar and Bristol and is expected to be complete by summer of 2017. It will encompass up to 1.4 million square feet of office space with the first office tower estimated at 300,000 square feet, 450,000 square feet of retail, two hotels and up to 950 units of residential.

SouthStar is also developing Summit, a mixed-use property totaling some 30 acres not far from Ovation.

Franklin Park, a Spectrum-Emery office development basically located across the street from Ovation, is already signing tenants. It’s a 10-story, LEED-certified complex with 272,720 square feet of space.

“These developments will appeal to a different generation of workers, which is really important as we continue to make sure that this county is attractive to businesses,” Largen says.

Community Concept

Just south of downtown Franklin and near Interstate 65 is the 604-acre Berry Farms, a Boyle development that is already in Phase II of construction. It’s strong on the neighborhood concept, as the property includes residential, retail and offices, and offers plenty of walkability and community interaction.

It’s an ideal location for Amber Johnson, who opened Berry Farms Family Dentistry in March 2014.

I knew it was a good spot, but I’ve grown more quickly than I anticipated,” Johnson says. “There are just so many new subdivisions and homes, so a lot of new people are moving in.”

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