May 20, 2016

The Nashville Business Journal
by Adam Sichko

A developer has landed a loan to finance a huge Life Time Fitness facility and lay the groundwork for future buildings in the Cool Springs commercial hub.

The imminent construction is the latest evidence of real estate investors (and their money) pushing further south into Cool Springs. It’s been the region’s premier corporate headquarters address for the past couple of decades. Today, the county is adding residents faster than any other in the state and adding jobs faster than anyone else in the nation.

Franklin Synergy Bank has loaned $24 million to Franklin-based SouthStar LLC, which plans a mixed-use project on 22 acres at 1214 Liberty Pike. That includes a 120,000-square-foot Life Time facility, to open in late 2017, and at least one other building, three stories and containing almost 50,000 square feet of office and retail space.

This is less than a mile south of the crossroads of Carothers Parkway and McEwen Drive — the epicenter of Williamson County’s building boom (as seen on our Williamson Watch interactive development map). The projects there include a mixed-use development from Charlotte-based Crescent Communities; Franklin Park, a development of up to five office buildings by veteran Pat Emery; and Ovation, which was originated by SouthStar and is planned to include 1.4 million square feet of office space, almost 1,000 residential units and nearly 500,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space.

With that intersection accounted for, development is heading south. SouthStar paid $11 million to buy the land late last year, and the company also owns the slightly larger adjacent property — both immediately behind Ovation.

Across the road from SouthStar’s land, Nashville restaurant company Fresh Hospitality just paid $3.8 million for a site where it plans a mixed-use development.

Glenn Wilson, CEO of SouthStar, said the bank loan is sufficient to fund overall site work and also the Life Time facility. Future development on the property would need additional financing.