Hundreds pack meeting to discuss proposed Harpeth Square - WKRN News 2

Hundreds pack meeting to discuss proposed Harpeth Square

Posted: Updated: July 16, 2013 7:06 PM

More than 300 people packed the downtown theatre in Franklin Tuesday night to hear about a proposed $80 to 85 million nearby development that has working name of Harpeth Square.

During an introduction of co-developer Rod Heller, the project was referred to as "the second renaissance of downtown Franklin."

Heller and his partner Jay Franks, who like to call themselves "owner and investors," told the Franklin crowd what they have been saying during interviews all day long with local media.

The centerpiece boutique hotel with about 120 rooms would be go by the working name of The Inn at Harpeth Square.

Franks said he would like to see a construction start date in about 18 months if all the moving pieces of the project come together.

Other highlights of the project include 400 apartments, 20 condos, and 80-some retail units, but one potential snag looms that's dear to anyone who lives in Franklin, free parking.

"It's the tail that wags the dog," co- owner investor Heller told Nashville's News 2.

People want to keep it that way, but it would come at a cost for the developers who look to the city of Franklin for support

"If we have to pick that up on our own, it renders the project frankly, no longer feasible," cautioned Heller.

Best guess is the city of Franklin would build a parking garage nearby, but city leaders are carefully non-committal about this, but recognize the issue.

"As this development continues to increase density and add to the vibrancy of downtown we need to provide for parking-- so how that gets done is a challenge" Asst. City Administrator Vernon Gerth told News Nashville's 2.

Both developers and Gerth said any "partnering" is only in the initial stages and far from any kind of concrete proposal that would require approval by City of Franklin.

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