1st and Main rooftop restaurant
Preliminary rendering of potential downtown Franklin mixed-use project.

A new mixed-use development could be coming to downtown Franklin, at the former location of Dotson’s Restaurant.

Chartwell Hospitality is beginning the process of gaining approval from the city for a three-story building at First Avenue South and Main Street. Plans include space for offices, stores, and a restaurant, with a rooftop patio. It is called 1st and Main.

“We are finalizing our plans to submit to the Historical Committee on Friday,” Will Schaedle, Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for Chartwell Hospitality, said.

If no changes are made to the plans in the rigorous review and planning process the city applies to downtown projects, the first floor will be a mix of Class A retail, Class A office, and a restaurant, Schaedle said. The second level will be all Class A office space. The third level will have an outdoor rooftop patio that serves as an amenity for the first level restaurant.

Preliminary renderings of 1st and Main:

The city wanted to be clear that things are very much in the early stages.

“The plans submitted were for preliminary, discussion purposes only at the Design Review Committee meeting, which is a subcommittee of the Historic Zoning Commission that makes non-binding recommendations on potential upcoming projects in light of the Historic District Design Guidelines,” Milissa Reierson, communications manager for the city of Franklin, said. “This is not a formal application.  No formal request has been submitted to the Historic Zoning Commission for consideration or to the City for site plan review at this time.”

If Chartwell, as planned, submits the plans on Friday, then the project will be discussed at the February 12th Historic Zoning Commission meeting.

The property had previously been the location of Dotson’s Restaurant, which closed in 2014. Recently it has been Metro Spy Supply, which closed in December.



  1. They are killing the goose that laid the golden egg. The only way downtown will retain its charm is to stop approving projects that are over two stories high. I could see it coming, though, once the bank building on Columbia went up and ruined the sight of the steeples, and went nearly to the street to the point you can barely walk by it. Don’t even get me started on that monstrosity going in behind Landmark Booksellers.

  2. What about parking? And please don’t say the hotel parking garage. The businesses that will be built in and around the hotel will be utilizing that parking garage. If we are going to keep adding businesses, we need to address the parking situation. Right now we can still entice visitors with free parking, but it is getting harder and hard to find a spot on any given day. No one wants this beautiful city to turn into a mini Nashville with the only options being paid lots or nowhere to park.

  3. We left Franklin back in the 50’s. I was born in Arrington and raised until 12 in Franklin. it was a quaint town back then and has basically improved while still keeping it’s charm on my visits back. Quit trying to “Modernize” something that is best left as is

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