Today, we’re traveling from the past to the future of the Factory at Franklin as it undergoes an approximately year-long redevelopment project.
The factory was built in 1929 and served as the home of Dortch Stoveworks, Magic Chef, and the Jamison Bedding Company. By 1996, developer Calvin Lehew purchased the property with the vision of a retail and entertainment complex. The Factory at Franklin was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.
The Factory at Franklin houses as many as 18+ vendors offering collectibles, home decor, and various classes. Dining includes grab-and-go coffee and juice retailers, sweet treat shops like Jeni’s + Five Daughter’s Bakery, in addition to sit-down bites from Mojo’s Tacos or Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria.
Catch a live show at The Mockingbird Theater, stock up on produce weekly at the Franklin Farmers Market, and mark your calendars for other events coming to the venue like the Made South Holiday Market (Friday, Nov. 18-Saturday, Nov. 19) + Holiday Spirits Cocktail Festival (Friday, Dec. 2).
The property changed ownership last year when it sold to Holladay Properties for $56 million, and the new owners began reimagining the space for additional retail + interior and exterior updates. Here’s a snapshot of what the plan entails:
- Updates to the Grand Hall began in June with a projected completion in early 2023. Renderings outline a new Factory bar as the focal point. The design showcases the penny tile flooring with a new logo and the glass mimics the property’s original glass windowpanes. The old mixes with the new, highlighting greenery and luxe, modern furnishings.
- Painting began the last week of October to restore the trademark 75,000-gallon water tower from its green color back to the beloved rusty red. Additional renderings suggest the area surrounding the tower will be opened up to create a park-like atmosphere with green space, a new patio, and seating area.
- New businesses opening up shop inside include Two Hands (coastal, Australian fare), Greys Fine Cheese (curated cheese and charcuterie), Blue Flowers Store (footwear, skate, and streetwear apparel) + Diakonia (tech company). Favorites like Franklin Juice Company, Honest Coffee, Fork of the South, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Five Daughters Bakery, and Third Coast Clay will expand and relocate to new spaces.