Plans for vacant downtown building on hold

A building in downtown Franklin owned by a city board remains empty after plans to turn it into a banquet hall or visitor center were dropped.

The Franklin Chamber of Commerce had been working with city officials on a proposal to add a visitors center, café and offices to the building, but it withdrew that plan because it couldn’t afford the project.

The former G.C. Murphy building on East Jefferson Street has been government-owned since 2009, meaning property taxes aren’t being paid on the building. The vacant building was purchased by the county as potential office space after county offices were damaged in the 2008 flood, was traded to Franklin in a land swap and given to the redevelopment commission in 2011.

Late last year, the redevelopment commission requested proposals to purchase and redevelop the building. The board received two proposals, but both were dropped. So the commission is once again seeking a way to sell the building.

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