Franklin Hill Center

H.G. Hill Realty Company reported Tuesday that it has applied for a permit to get rid of empty parts of the Franklin Plaza on Columbia Avenue and West Fowlkes Street.

Structures of the old strip mall — stripped of its mall over a year ago and owned by the Hill Center Brentwood developer — Franklin Hill Center sits vacant as H.G. commences asbestos removal procedures on the property.

Positioned on the edge of Historic Downtown Franklin, the area is considered a low-income part of the city, nestled within the headquarter capital of the state and the wealthiest county by purchasing power with a median income of $112,962 against its average cost of living around $48,913 according to SmartAsset.

The owner of Franklin Plaza’s Piggly Wiggly explained back in December 2015 that Franklin’s growth was bringing more competition that was causing revenue to decline.

“We are pleased to take this initial step as we determine the best and right path forward for this important property,” said CEO and H.G. Hill Realty Chairman Jimmy Granbery in a press release. “We look forward to working with city officials, the historic preservation community and our Franklin neighbors as we explore development plans.”

Since 2015, AutoZone was first to leave the lot and relocate, followed by Piggly Wiggly who permanently shuttered its location. By the time Japanese restaurant Shiki closed in early 2019, only Our Thrift Store remained until it also closed during the pandemic.

Demolition for the mid-20th century building is reportedly expected to begin in November. H.G. has not disclosed any information about future plans but has suggested it would engage the community to determine what residents might like to see.