Construction of a new hotel in Franklin is planned to begin as soon as this fall, and now two new restaurants could also be coming to the area.
A Fairfield Inn is planned on the north side of King Street, just west of Interstate 65. The property owner is working on an agreement with a developer to bring two national chain restaurants to the three to four acres of property that front King Street.
The city is investing $560,000 into the hotel project. City officials have long said Franklin needed new hotels, but officials wanted to make sure the proposed project was high-quality, with a recognizable hotel brand. Rob and Amy Richardson, who own the property and are developing the hotel, initially planned for a Hilton chain hotel to come to the site and have now reached an agreement with Fairfield Inn, Rob Richardson said.
A committee formed to review the hotel approved the most recent plans, and the redevelopment commission already had approved the $560,000 grant, which was given to the Franklin Development Corp. and planned to be used to help the Richardsons buy land.
Next, the city board of zoning appeals needs to approve a waiver for the height of the four-story hotel.
If the project stays on schedule with good weather, the goal is to open the hotel by the middle of next year, Rob Richardson said.
The city’s investment is a small percentage of what the Richardsons spent to buy land and will spend on the $8 million hotel, and the hotel is needed, especially for sports tournaments and events such as the Google Summit that have come to Franklin in recent years, Mayor Steve Barnett said.
“Franklin has been needing this type of hotel for years,” Barnett said.
The hotel is also an anchor for development in that area, including the two restaurants that are being discussed, Barnett said.
Redevelopment commission and city council member Keith Fox called the project exciting and one the city had been working toward for a while.
The Richardsons, who also own City View Apartments in Franklin, currently are working on an agreement with a developer for the restaurants, but are not ready to disclose the name of the restaurants, Amy Richardson said.
The initial proposal for the property was to develop both a hotel and apartments, but plans for the apartments were dropped after concerns were raised by residents and city officials.