When a new clothing and home goods store opened in Franklin this week, shoppers lined up outside, waiting to get inside a store they had previously only been able to shop at if they headed north.
The grand opening of Marshalls is being followed by at least four others, as new shops and restaurants open along U.S. 31 in Franklin.
More than a year ago, Franklin residents learned they would have new shopping options when a shopping center was proposed next to a recently opened Kroger Marketplace, along with a new Meijer store and new restaurants just north of there.
Now, both the Kroger Marketplace and Meijer have opened, and all of the six stores in the new shopping center have occupancy permits, according to the city planning office.
Story continues below gallery
So far, Shoe Show and Petsmart opened, and Marshalls had its grand opening this week. Next on the list: Ulta Beauty, which is opening next week Aug. 25, and Maurices and Ross Dress for Less, which have not yet announced opening dates.
And in the future, Buffalo Wild Wings is set to open in mid-December, and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is planning to open next month, though a specific date has not yet been set, according to company officials.
All of that is in addition to continued interest from shops in downtown Franklin, Mayor Steve Barnett said.
The new shops give residents local places to shop and keep those tax dollars in Franklin, Barnett said.
“Now, we have more options where local residents don’t have to drive out of town,” he said.
All of the recent interest in Franklin has continued to help build momentum, with more developers interested in the city for continued retail development, he said. The city has continued to get calls from developers looking for open land, he said.
The new development also is attractive to larger employers, who want to make sure if they locate somewhere, the community has lots of options for its workers and their families, Barnett said.
“Times are changing, and there is a lot of opportunity for retail in Franklin,” he said.