July 09, 2018

Boyle development lands Aetna’s 200-job expansion

Nashville Business Journal

July 9, 2018

About one year from now, a health insurance giant expects to open a new office in a sprawling mixed-use development in Franklin.

Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) has struck a deal with Boyle Investment Co. for a new building at Boyle’s Berry Farms development. Berry Farms is so large that it spans three of the four quadrants at exit 61 of Interstate 65, encompassing 600 acres south of Franklin’s Cool Springs commercial hub.

Aetna will lease 82,600 square feet of office space — the entirety of a three-story building set to open in August 2019, a company spokeswoman confirmed on Monday. Aetna signed a 10-year lease with a pair of five-year extensions, according to Williamson County public records.

The new building contains about 10,000 square feet more than Aetna’s existing Franklin operation. The company will be vacating 58,000 square feet of space at 800 Crescent Centre Drive, and 14,000 square feet at 5000 Meridian Blvd.

About 400 people work at those locations today. Aetna is planning to have about 600 workers at its back-office Berry Farms hub, said company spokeswoman Kristin Li.

Aetna’s lease provides another dose of activity at Berry Farms, which is positioned to capture the population and economic growth spilling south from Brentwood and Franklin (and also up from Spring Hill, where General Motors Co. has a bustling auto factory). Williamson County boasts one of the highest median household incomes in the country, and the county led the nation in job growth throughout most of 2015 and 2016. Franklin was the eighth-fastest-growing large city in the U.S. from mid-2016 to mid-2017.

Aetna’s building will be in the southeast section of Berry Farms, east of I-65 and south of Peytonsville Road. Dave Ramsey, the nationally known personal finance guru, is moving his Ramsey Solutions headquarters to Berry Farms. Also there is the headquarters of Lee Co., the residential and commercial mechanical contracting company; its chairman is Bill Lee, who is a candidate for governor.