May 12, 2008

Franklin soon to have more condos

More condos are ready and waiting
Williamson A.M. • May 2, 2008

FRANKLIN — People looking for condos or town houses in locations that are closer to work and entertainment will find increasing options in Franklin later this year and in 2009.
There are six developments in different stages of completion in and around downtown Franklin and in Cool Springs that offer a complete alternative to suburban subdivisions of large single-family homes and yards — and the maintenance obligations that go with them.

The possibility of "lock and go" living that is within walking or biking distance of shops and restaurants appeals to a broad spectrum of homebuyers and the appeal may be growing as the price of gas continues to climb, some builders say.
"I think it's going to become more important to live near where you work and where you play. It's a way of living more sensibly and living greener, but you don't have to give up your luxuries," said developer Khris Pascarella, who is creating The Residences of Grant Park at Cool Springs. Construction was scheduled to commence this week on Grant Park, which will be off McEwen Drive. The development is already 20 percent pre-sold, Pascarella said.
The first phase of Grant Park is expected to be finished in the fall. This condominium community will be gated and the 51 homes will be contained in seven buildings of French, Federal and Classical architectural design.
Pascarella is loading the community with amenities, including a pool, clubhouse, fitness center, 950-square-foot garages and generous green space that will create a parklike setting.
He says all of these extras, including high-end interior finishes, are based on careful market research.
"I'm all about reducing risk and the more research you do, the less risk you take," he said.
"When you read the research, especially for empty nesters, it's 'storage, storage, storage'," he said. "They need a place to store family heirlooms or photo albums or the kids' mementos from school."
"So our garages are bigger and half of your garage is going to be for storage or hobby space if you want it, " he said.
Prices at Grant Park are from $236,000 to $444,000 for units that will range from 1,010 to 1,634 square feet. Low-maintenance retreat Grant Park is not the only town house/condo option around town. Located off Columbia Avenue near the heart of downtown Franklin, General's Retreat already has residents.
This community of traditional town houses and one-bedroom studio condos has 15 active for-sale listings. They are all town houses; the studios in phase one are sold out.
The two-story town houses have two or three bedrooms and range from 1,861 to 2,027 square feet. Prices are from $356,900 for a two-bedroom, 21/2 bath unit to $376,900 for a three-bedroom, 3 1/2 bath home.
After the first phase of 51 homes is finished and sold, a second phase of 24 more homes is planned, with construction to begin late this year or early in 2009, sales agent Kimberly Jones said.
As is the case with all of these developments, interior finishes are high-end. General's Retreat homes have mahogany front doors, all-brick and Hardie siding exteriors, granite countertops and maple cabinets in the kitchens, hardwoods in living areas and large master bathrooms with separate tubs and showers.
There is also a fiber-optic service package for residents and each unit has its own security system.
The neighborhood is attracting a mixture of residents, from young singles and couples to retirees, said agent Lisa Rybak. "It's the fantastic location being just a few minutes from downtown Franklin," she added.
Jones said the increasing interest in developments such as General's Retreat is a reflection of some people's exhaustion with the work that is involved in the upkeep of big yards and houses. "That whole trend of high maintenance and upkeep — people are getting tired of it," she said.
Eleventh Off Main
Not far from General's Retreat is Eleventh Off Main, whose name gives its location near the heart of historic Franklin.
This all-brick town house development is built in the Federal style and will have just 15 homes when it is completed. Five of them are already sold.
Eleventh Off Main has an enviable location and interior upgrades such as stainless steel appliances, double ovens, five-burner stoves and granite countertops in the kitchens, and solid-oak, sand-and-finish hardwood floors.
The units will also feature gas fireplaces, all-tile bathrooms, bricked-in patios and 10-foot ceilings. A master bedroom suite on the first floor is an option in two of the three floor plans here and prices range from $450,000 to $550,000.
The Villages at Royal Oaks
Planned for just off Royal Oaks Boulevard, construction of this development has not begun. One reason for the delay is that the developer has just finished revamping the floor plans.
The Villages at Royal Oaks opened a full-size model at 1945 Mallory Lane next to Sprintz last year and the changes are a reflection of what consumers who have visited have said they wanted.
According to sales agent Jessi Sgarlata, master suites have been added to the main floors on all of the town houses. Previously, only one floor plan featured the master suite down.
Studies have also been added to all of the town house floor plans, she said, and the architecture at the front door of each home has been adapted to create individuality and privacy.
Recently The Villages has been offering $50,000 pre-construction discounts to buyers, but those discounts may expire this week, she said.
When The Villages at Royal Oaks is complete, it will offer one-bedroom flats from $269,900 to $314,900; town homes of two or three bedrooms from $489,900 to $629,900; and penthouses from $399,900 to $724,900.
Buyers here have several interior finish packages to choose from. Standard features include white-oak floors, 10-foot ceilings, granite in all kitchens and bathrooms, 5-inch baseboards, Kohler plumbing fixtures, a stainless steel, six-burner DCS gas stove in the kitchen, Bosch dishwasher and Whirlpool Duet front-loading washer and dryer in the laundry room.
Every unit will have a furnished private courtyard or terrace, many of them with an outdoor gas fireplace. There will also be controlled access garages, underground storage space and call boxes for visitors.
Jamison Station
Just across Liberty Pike from The Factory at Franklin, Jamison Station offers hip loft-style condos and town houses in a mixed-used neighborhood. The design elements evoke the vintage industrial/manufacturing/warehouse architecture that exists across the street.
The construction that is under way here is all a part of phase one, which is sold out. The second phase of construction will begin later this year and units are already being sold.
It will contain 85 condos with prices ranging from $267,900 to $620,900.
Amenities will include a sun deck with pool and spa, onsite concierge, private indoor parking and access to pedestrian-friendly onsite retail.
Interiors will feature hardwood floors in living areas, large balconies or terraces, KitchenAid gourmet kitchens with contemporary cabinets and Kohler fixtures in the bathrooms.
McEwen Town Center
This Southern Land Co. mixed-use development is just getting under way and will be on McEwen Drive near Cool Springs. The developer plans to have 258 loft-style apartments ready at the end of the year, and a set of 37 town houses by spring 2009.
An additional set of 59 town houses is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2009 and 240 condos are slated for completion in December 2009.
This will be a mixed-use neighborhood that will eventually feature 1,000 residential units and a Whole Foods store with additional retail as well as office spaces.
Prices for the town houses and condos are not yet available; construction on this project is scheduled to continue into 2014.

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