Mars Petcare, already one of the largest employers in Williamson County, has concluded negotiations to open a headquarters in the billion-dollar mixed-use Highwoods Ovation project in Cool Springs.
Williamson Source reported in the fall that Mars and Highwoods were in talks to make the petcare giant the anchor tenant at the mixed-use development at the corner of Carothers Parkway and McEwen Drive.
Mars, which employs more than 1,000 people already in the county, will build a $96 million, 224,000 square foot headquarters in two connected buildings with structured parking.
“For the last 11 years, we have called Franklin home and we’re excited about our new U.S. headquarters at Ovation, one of the largest planned mixed-use projects in Williamson County,” Renee Peets, vice president and executive project sponsor of Mars Petcare, said. “It’s an exciting project, ideally situated in a vibrant location, and will bring the best of ‘work, rest and play’ to our nearly 1,000 area Associates and their pets.”
The plan for Ovation, owned by several developers, envisions 950 residential units, 480,000 square feet of retail space, 1.4 million square feet of “top grade Class A” office space, and two hotels with a combined 450 rooms. It will be anchored by a 12-floor, 300,000 square foot tower.
Construction on the Mars buildings, being built on Highwoods’ 68-acres of the site, will begin in the fall with a targeted completion date of spring 2019.
Highwoods has allowances from the city of Franklin for all the site’s office space, and the Mars building will be the first of a four-to-five building business campus on 12.5 acres the developer is calling East End at Ovation.
“We are flattered Mars Petcare, a new customer for Highwoods, has chosen us to be their developer-landlord,” Ed Fritsch, president and chief executive officer of Highwoods, said. “We are thrilled by this opportunity to work with such a widely respected, internationally recognized and admired company and appreciate their confidence in our team and brand.”
Currently, Mars Petcare, which currently leases space at 315 Cool Springs Blvd. and 1550 W. McEwen Drive, will begin readying to move in 2018