June 05, 2006

Restaurants, Two Hotels and More Coming to Meridian Cool Springs

By Courtney Watson
– The Tennessean –

With the approval of two hotels and another three-story office building, mixed-use project Meridian Cool Springs is coming into focus.

The 40-acre development, near Primus’ headquarters off Carothers Parkway, will mix retail spaces, upscale dining options and hotels with office space to create a multipurpose business hub in Cool Springs.

“What we really have focused on is a place where the business community and the nearby residential communities’ needs can be met in one place,” said Phil Fawcett, executive manager of developer Boyle Investment’s Brentwood office.

Work is already in progress on the seven-story office building that will house the headquarters of Community Health Systems, with completion scheduled for December.

The newest additions to the plan – The Courtyard by Marriott at Meridian and Residence Inn at Meridian – were approved by the Franklin Planning Commission last month and will provide 250 hotel rooms to the project. The hotels will begin construction late this summer, along with a 66,210-square-foot, three-story office building.

While the Community Health Services building moves toward completion, phase two of the project is set to begin next, bringing a 15,283-square-foot specialty retail building, another office building and a 19,200-square-foot mixed-use building with retail on the first floor and office space on the second floor.

“We’re trying to have something that appeals to every kind of company in Cool Springs,” Fawcett said. “The combination retail/office building is designed more for smaller tenants, and there are also buildings intended for other corporate headquarters.”

What all the offices will have in common is access to the interconnected, walkable network that will unite the project.

Fawcett said Boyle plans to announce a set of high-end restaurants later in the summer that will act as anchors within the development.

“The whole retail concept is centered around that restaurant experience,” he said. “You can go for coffee or breakfast, or have a casual lunch, all the way to a white-tablecloth, fine-dining experience in the evening.”

With three more phases left to be approved (a specialty retail segment and two more office building), Fawcett said response to Meridian has been positive.

“We’ve seen a real market acceptance of our mixed-use concept,” he said. “We’re real happy with the schedule, and happy with the demand that’s in the market.”