The Factory at Franklin was purchased this week for $56 million by the Nashville office of Holladay Properties, led by Allen Arender. The company plans on transforming the property to create what it believes will be a national model for adaptive re-use of early 20th Century industrial structures.

The Factory, built in 1929, is a complex of 10 industrial buildings that was originally constructed for stove manufacturer Allen Manufacturing Co. and was later home to a succession of manufacturers including Dortch Stove Works, Magic Chef and Jamison Bedding Company. In 1996, Franklin businessman Calvin Lehew purchased the property and converted it into a retail and entertainment complex.

According to a press release attained by Williamson Source, the new developers will invest into the property in order to create a little city – with plazas, courtyards, alleys, nooks and other places to gather and socialize. The developers are planning to offer a truly curated shopping, dining, and entertainment experience, along with a significant amount of office space that can be adapted to many types of businesses.

They also plan to open up the space so visitors can see the bones of the structures and feel how the 10 buildings relate to each other to create a unique environment.

In a Facebook post announcing the project, Holladay Properties writes, “We are proud to announce our recent acquisition of Factory at Franklin! We are so excited to transform this gem of a property! We are about a year away from welcoming everyone to the new Factory. Our vision is to create the preeminent mixed-use hub for Franklin, Williamson County and southern Middle Tennessee that will draw visitors from throughout the region and the nation. ”

Joining Holladay Properties in the transformation of The Factory is Arender’s long-time development partner Ronnie Wenzler, an executive director of Cushman & Wakefield.

The new owners said they hope to unveil the “new” Factory next fall.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to kaitlinhousler.reports@gmail.com
Photo “The Factory at Franklin” by Skye Marthaler. CC BY-SA 3.0.