The Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen are still mulling over three proposals for a 54-acre plot of land along Mack Hatcher Parkway near Spencer Creek Road.

Weve got a difficult choice, said Alderman Clyde Barnhill.

The city accepted letters of interest from potential developers on the property located along the Harpeth River and three developers responded.

Cheekwood Golf Course wants to expand its golf course across Mack Hatcher Parkway, the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro wants to build a childrens museum and the Franklin Housing Commission wants to build affordable or workforce housing on the site.

A month ago, all three parties presented plans to the board; over the weekend, they met with the board on site to hear once again about proposals.

City staff put together a chart listing all the different selling points of the proposals.

We recognize the board has three very well-thought-out, good proposals, said City Administrator Eric Stuckey.

One key point was the staff presented potential costs and revenues about each property, as well as if the city sold the property or if the city kept it.

Creekwood Golf Course had agreed to pay $72,900 a month for the lease, the Discovery Center proposed a $1 a year lease and the Franklin Housing Commission proposed not paying. But, the housing commission has proposed that property taxes would be assessed on the houses, not the land because it is city owned.

According to the city, the golf course would bring in $2.6 million in revenue, while the city is projected to lose about $2 million if the childrens museum were developed and it could lose anywhere from $1.7 million to $3.6 million with housing.

Bob Ries, a Franklin resident, pointed that out.

When you go to the bottom line, you only have one paying you any money, he said.

But, Stuckey, and other city staff warned not to only look at city revenue. It did not take into consideration any other potential economic development that could happen because of those other properties.

Lets be careful about painting it as a picture of anything, he said.

The board is expected to vote on the proposals within the upcoming months.

Barnhill said it may end up being two of the three get to share the property, or as he called it one-and-half.

It wont be everyone satisfied with our decision, he said.


Representatives of Hiram Masonic Lodge #7, located at115 2nd Ave South,appeared before the board Tuesday during its work session to talk about upcoming restoration on the property.

Jim Patterson, chairman of the lodges board, told the Franklin board they are in the midst of diversifying their board and getting more community involvement.

We are a part of this community, Patterson said.

He said right now there has been a protective barrier put on the building and they hope to start doing a restoration within months.

The building was constructed in 1823 and is the oldest public building in Franklin. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson met with leaders of the Chickasaw nation to negotiate the Treaty of Franklin at the site.

Its been underused and underexposed as a historic place in our city, said Alderman Pearl Bransford.

Alderman Mike Skinner asked about specifics.

Do you know how far out before you do the restoration? he asked.

The next three weeks well have a better understanding, Guil Ezell, president of the lodges board, replied.

Patterson told the Franklin board the building is still in pretty good condition.

Theres no deterioration, he said.

Cliff Hightower can be reached at cliff.hightower@franklinhomepage or follow him on Twitter @FranklinHomePage.

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Franklin board hears more on Mack Hatcher proposals - Franklin Home Page

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