The site, previously home to the O'More College of Design, dates back to the 19th century and was purchased for preservation by the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County in 2018. The project will be the largest in the nonprofit's history, according to a Nov. 10 release.
As part of the new Franklin Grove Estate & Gardens, the site will include walkable gardens, two historic mansions, a rotating art exhibit, an innovation center run in partnership with Williamson Inc., and a hall for gatherings and events.
“With Franklin Grove, we aspire to provide a place that will be the pride of our city for generations to come,” said Bari Beasley, Heritage Foundation president and CEO, in a release. “After months of collaboration with Franklin residents, business leaders and citizens living adjacent to the property, we have taken all feedback into consideration and evolved the original site plan. We believe these modifications and enhancements will bring the community together with a shared sense of excitement for this special project which will serve Franklin as we artfully manage growth within the framework of the heritage and culture that make our community so desirable.”
However, the project is not without opposition. In surrounding neighborhoods near the 5-acre site, many residents have placed signs on their lawns asking for the property not to be used as an event venue.
A neighborhood meeting hosted by the city of Franklin was held for the site in September. Heritage Foundation officials said feedback from surrounding neighbors has been incorporated into a revised plan.
One such concern was traffic; the property is located along Margin Street near Lewisburg Pike, a connector to major thoroughfares such as the Mack C. Hatcher Parkway. To help minimize the additional traffic from visitors to the site, the foundation is proposing a new turn lane to be added in front of the property.
Additionally, there was also concern about the noise caused from events at the site. To lessen noise, plans include requirements for events to be held indoors.
Plans for the site have been proposed, but are not finalized, according to the Heritage Foundation. Master plans are expected to be submitted to the city of Franklin for review and approval in December.
See more about the site here.