Developers announce plans for East Works District in Cool Springs

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A new plan is in the works to turn the Carothers Building campus into a multiuse development for residents to work and live.

Nashville-based developer MarketStreet Enterprises announced in late March the project proposal for East Works District, a 50-acre, mixed-use project that will bring Class A office space, restaurants, hotels and residential areas to east Franklin.

The project will develop the area around the existing Carothers Building, which was built north of Cool Springs Boulevard in 1994 and remains the largest office building in the Cool Springs area. The surrounding area—primarily parking spaces—will be redeveloped to include green space and pedestrian-friendly walkways. MarketStreet estimates the project will be completed in 20 years and will be built in phases.

MarketStreet is also known as the development company for The Gulch neighborhood in downtown Nashville. Managing Director Jay Turner said while the company will draw on its experience with the Gulch in designing the East Works District, residents of the area should not expect the same type of development.

“East Works District is a new and unique vision for Cool Springs that will feel just as natural and authentic to Franklin as the Gulch is to Nashville,” Turner said in a statement. “Cool Springs is ready for an evolved and activated pedestrian experience to meet the needs of future residents and a modern workforce, and the Carothers campus is the perfect location for it.”

According to the announcement, MarketStreet has submitted applications with the city to rezone the area to a specific development-mixed-use district, which will be subject to approval from the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen. City officials have not announced when the project will be placed on a future agenda for approval.

City Administrator Eric Stuckey said the BOMA and the Franklin Municipal Planning Commission will be “taking a close look” at the plans for the high-density development, though he noted the “significant, robust” infrastructure near I-65. “I think it’s a matter of where you put density and that sort of thing, and that’s part of what we’ll be taking a close look at,” he said.

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