June 25, 2019

Hard-hat tour: Major Cool Springs development quickly taking shape

Nashville Business Journal

McEwen Northside Franklin office buildingReal estate developers have teed up at least seven mixed-use projects in the pipeline on the east side of I-65, in the Cool Springs commercial hub.

But for right now, you’ll find most of the construction equipment on the other side of the highway — bringing to life a 45-acre property that’s been a target for development for at least the past dozen years.

The first buildings in the $270 million McEwen Northside project debut later this year. It’s a landmark checkpoint for developers Boyle Investment Co. and Northwood Ravin, as well as their financier, a wing of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.

The site on McEwen Drive, across from a Whole Foods and a Bricktop’s restaurant, cycled through a number of owners and potential developers over those years. Thomas McDaniel, who oversees Boyle’s Middle Tennessee office portfolio, said on a site tour this month that the project’s mix of office, retail and apartments plays off work Boyle has been doing in this part of the market since at least the mid-2000s, when the company created the Meridian mixed-use development on the other side of I-65.

“We believe this is tailor-made for us,” McDaniel said.

Tenants announced so far include Williamson Inc., Club Pilates, Tiff’s Treats, Prose nail boutique — and Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille. McDaniel said the fact that the Houston-based chain is choosing Cool Springs for its first Middle Tennessee location validates the vision behind McEwen Northside.

“On the amenity side, [Cool Springs] is really just national chains. It’s not walkable. There’s no ‘district.’ We’re trying to counteract all that,” McDaniel said.

Click on the slideshow with this story to nose in on the progress Bell & Associates Construction is making.