Pat Emery started eyeing the parcel at McEwen and Interstate 65 back in 1997; Thursday, the project started coming out of the ground.
Spectrum|Emery formally broke ground on Franklin Park, a 71-acre mixed-use project in Cool Springs in the northeast quadrant of the intersection of I-65 and McEwen. The first phase is an 11-acre park that will be the centerpiece of the completed project and will include a 600-seat amphitheater.
Eventually, the site will include up to five Class A office towers, an on-site 350-unit apartment complex and support retail.
"We are delighted to begin construction on our most dynamic and ambitious venture yet," Emery said. "With 97 percent portfolio occupancy in our other Cool Springs properties, the timing is right to unveil the next horizon for Cool Springs. Franklin Park’s unmatched green infrastructure, tied exclusively to top of the line Class-A office space and multi-family living, will create an ideal community for corporations seeking a holistic environment with quality-of-life for their employees."
Emery was reticent to put a firm start date on the buildings for the project — after all, Thursday's announcement was 15 years in the making — but construction is slated to begin on the first tower later this year.
With the amenity of the park and on-site living, Emery believes Franklin Park can attract a different class of companies to Cool Springs — companies that themselves attract a different class of worker.
"Employers in the area are great from a family standpoint," he said. "But a younger, high-energy (worker) wants that multi-family living."
Emery also touted Franklin Park's sustainibility features: stormwater will be held in a central pond and used for irrigation; rocks on site will be ground up to use for road construction within the development; and removed trees will be repurposed as mulch.