Mars Petcare Potentially Opening HQ in Cool Springs

Mars Petcare, already one of the largest employers in Williamson County, is reportedly in negotiations to open a headquarters in the billion-dollar mixed-use Highwoods Ovation project in Cool Springs.

Mars, which employs more than 1,000 people already in the county, would take up 200,000 square feet at the project at Carothers Parkway and McEwen Drive, according to a report by the Nashville Business Journal.

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.

Highwoods, the region’s largest office developer with some 3.4 million square feet, will build and lease all the office space.  They paid $15 million for their 68 acres of the 145 acre site- two-thirds of which will be developed.

Mars would occupy the project’s anchor tower.

“Over the past year, Mars Petcare has been evaluating potential real estate options for office space in the Cool Springs area,” Jam Stewart, corporate communications director for Mars Petcare, said. “Currently, we have two lease agreements in effect through 2018. Prior to those leases expiring, we’ve been actively looking for future office space. As of today, we continue to look and have not signed any new leases.”

Highwoods did not return calls for comment.Back in June,  we spoke with Brian Reames, senior vice president for Highwoods, who said the company was starting to look for tenants.

“We are working on continuing the process of designing the office building that will go on the portion that we own,” he said. “We are active in that design phase and we are making proposals when we are getting requests for proposals.”

Early last spring, it became apparent that Mars was looking for a Cool Springs headquarters. Williamson Source reported at the time that Mars had been in talks with AL Neyer to move onto a re-designed A-Game Sportsplex property, but the sale of the property to Neyer fell through at the last minute.