A conceptual image of the 99 East Main Street multi-use development.
By BROOKE WANSER
At a Franklin historic design review meeting on Feb. 19, committee members discussed the architectural features and materials for a proposed multi-level, mixed-use project across Main Street from Puckett’s Boat House.
The development, proposed by Chartwell Hospitality, would house a combination of office space, retail shops, and a restaurant with a 100-seat rooftop patio.
The historic zoning commission last week voted allow the demolition of the two standing buildings at 99 East Main Street, which housed Dotson’s Restaurant until 2014, though they could not come to a consensus on design details.
Principal Architect Mark Reece with the Atlanta firm Rabun Rasche Rector Reece, presented the changes the committee recommended at the last historic zoning meeting. Those included adding outdoor seating spaces on the ground floor, window and cornice details, and brick colors and patterns.
“This is what’s going to make or break the project, getting the details right,” committee chair Susan Besser said, though she noted, “You’ve done an amazing amount since last Monday.”
Will Schaedle, the vice president of acquisitions and development for applicant Chartwell Hospitality, said they had been working on plans to develop the property for several years.
Chartwell initially sought to build a hotel, but after the city changed the floodplain maps in 2016, Schaedle said the Board of Mayor and Aldermen took issue with the plan.
The floodplain should not pose a risk to occupants, though.
“We raised our whole building up on a pedestal because of that floodplain,” Reece said during Monday’s meeting.
Schaedle said the city re-zoned the land about a year ago, and his company decided to pursue a plan they thought more appropriate for the area.
“I think finding this location that has essentially always been underdeveloped that extends Main Street a little further provides people more options in downtown Franklin,” Schaedle said.
He agreed that the nearby Harpeth Square project, which includes a boutique Hilton hotel and upscale apartments set to be completed in May of 2019, will add to the landscape of downtown. “It’s going to bring to life some aspects that have not been there in Franklin,” Schaedle said.
Chartwell will seek final design approval by the historic zoning committee meeting on March 12; if all goes according to plan, Schaedle anticipates demolition of the old buildings on the lot will begin by mid-March.